Low pressure in the Gulf of Maine will undergo explosive development on Monday, deepening into a very powerful ocean storm as it slowly pulls eastward and away from New England.
The rapidly deepening storm system will spin periods of snow into our area throughout the day on Monday, yield a lengthy period of very strong northwest winds and result in pockets of substantial beach erosion and areas of coastal flooding along the shores of Cape Cod Bay.
Snowfall: A messy mix of rain and snow Sunday night will taper off to drizzle and scattered light showers overnight as the axis of deepest moisture lifts north of the region. However, as low pressure begins to deepen east of Cape Cod Monday morning, precipitation will resume around the area, pinwheeling southward around the storm center to our east. At the same time, colder air will surge back to the coast, causing any light rain and drizzle to transition to snow. Snow will continue, at varying intensity, throughout much of the day on Monday, tapering to flurries and snow showers over the course of the afternoon hours. Total snow accumulation should range from an inch or two of new snow on the Upper Cape to several inches on the Lower and Outer Cape. Towns from Eastham northward to Provincetown – closest to the departing storm – stand the best chance of picking up 3 to 5 inches of snow.
Wind: This will be the big story. As the storm center rapidly intensifies to our east, very strong northwest winds will develop over the course of Monday morning. By the time we get to late morning and midday, sustained winds on the order of 25 to 40 mph will be common across the Cape and frequent gusts in excess of 50 mph will be occurring. Winds of this magnitude will persist into Monday evening. It’s quite likely that gusts to 60 mph are recorded on parts of the Cape Monday afternoon and, while less likely, possible that some towns gust to 70 mph. The wind will cause substantial blowing and drifting of the falling snow – creating near zero visibility at times, especially on the Lower and Outer Cape. In addition, some tree and limb damage is expected, which will result in pockets of power outages Monday afternoon and into Monday night.
Coastal Flooding: This system doesn’t have all of the ingredients for a severe coastal flood event but does have the potential to produce some substantial beach erosion and areas of coastal flooding at the time of high tide. The region most vulnerable in this particular set up will be the stretch of Cape Cod Bay beaches from about North Eastham south and westward around to Sandwich – with a focus in Eastham, Orleans, Brewster and Dennis. It’s along these bayside beaches and adjacent marshes and estuaries that the midday high tide will cause some problems. The powerful northwest wind will create large waves and drive water onshore, yielding areas of severe beach erosion and some flooding of low-lying roads. Anticipate some road closures in the traditionally vulnerable locations. Homes right along the water – those that are typically exposed to flood events along Cape Cod Bay – are likely to experience some inundation issues.