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Weather Be What? 'Confusing .. but Has Potential to Be Disruptive'

Tracking the potential upcoming storm proves difficult for local forecasters.

Update, Tuesday, 9 p.m.: "The modeling guidance continues to defy the surface maps, but is coming in closer agreement with each other and this trend has continued all day," said Jim Arnold, weather specialist. "Therefore, I am going to settle on a mix of guidance and pattern recognition for this event.  It continues to look like the storm center will pass out to sea well to our south, but since the storm is so large; it will impact southern New England with its snow and wind fields. Though we might see some scattered snow flurries tomorrow morning, the main event snow should overspread our area from southwest to northeast during the latter part of tomorrow afternoon. Snow will likely become moderate at times Wednesday night and continue at varying rates through the day Thursday."

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According to the National Weather Service, Shrewsbury is among the towns on a "winter storm watch," stating that a coastal storm on its way "will bring the potential for heavy wet snow and strong winds Thursday into Friday."

NWS reports that Shrewsbury will likely get snow late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, mainly after 1 a.m. on Thursday.

Jim Arnold, weather specialist with the Shrewsbury Emergency Agency, said that the situation is the most confusing and difficult one he's seen all winter.

"If one were to simply follow the modeling guidance," he said, "the forecast would be that we will be getting buried in heavy wet snow, with high winds, lots of tree damage and power outages. If, on the other hand, one were to follow the surface weather map and use pattern recognition, it would appear that we would get little or nothing from this storm. Also, there has been a new wild card introduced to the mix, in the form of an upper air disturbance moving southeast across New England from Canada."

Until patterns progress, he said, it is impossible to know what will happen with this present storm, if anything.

"Suffice it to say, this situation has the potential to be a disruptive if not crippling storm for southern New England," said Arnold."However, there is also the possibility it could be nothing much around here."

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