SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Enjoy this afternoon because we have big changes on the way! A coastal storm is set to bring rain, snow and some wind to western Mass. In fact, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch for eastern Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties (the hills) and Berkshire County from tomorrow (Thursday) 8PM until Friday night. This is where several inches of snow is possible!
Meanwhile, this afternoon will remain beautiful with temperatures reaching near 70. We'll see quite a bit of sunshine too, and wind will stay light with breezes out of the south and east around 5 to 10 mph. We can't rule out a spot shower this evening as clouds begin to move in.
Showers will become more numerous tonight with temperatures slowly cooling. Readings will fall into the 40's as an upper level low across the Great Lake States drifts our way.
Rain will become steadier tomorrow morning and will come down moderate to heavy at times tomorrow as energy to our west transfers to the Jersey shoreline, causing a second area of low pressure to develop and slowly moves to the southern New England coast during the day. Tomorrow looks like a good soaking with about an 1" of rain possible.
As the coastal low strengthens it will tap into cold air aloft. The breeze kicks in and rain changes to snow in the hill towns tomorrow night. Snow will come down moderate to heavy at times. Even the valley we could see a change to snow for a time overnight. Snow accumulation is most likely in the hills though and with a likely heavy, wet snow to fall, scattered power outages are a concern. If the valley gets any accumulation, it would be mainly on grassy surfaces and would be on the lower side.
Lots of things have to come together to bring accumulating snow to western Mass. in mid-April, but it happens and it's still looking likely tomorrow night into Friday, especially across the hill towns.
Snow Forecast: Hill towns over 1,000 feet 6"+ of snow. Hill towns 500-1,000 feet 3-6". The valley 0-3" mainly on grassy surfaces.
Rain and snow change back to rain Friday morning in the valley, but wet snow or a mix continues in the hills and Berkshires. Temperatures hover in the 30s to near 40 with gusty breezes. Precipitation gradually lightens and becomes more scattered throughout the day and tapers off Friday night into Saturday morning.
The weekend looks more seasonable with lingering clouds and highs in the lower 50s Saturday. More sun Sunday should get us into the upper 50s and by Monday highs are in the low 60s again.