and Robert Mills
LOWELL -- More than a week of mostly warm temperatures are coming to an end, as it will start to feel like January again with bitter temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday, and a thick layer of snow to go with the cold.
Up until Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service believed an incoming winter storm had a low probability of dropping a significant amount of snow, but the storm has intensified and moved closer to the coast.
The National Weather Service forecast was updated Monday about 4 p.m., and now predicts the Merrimack Valley will get 6 to 8 inches of snow between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon.
"This storm has really strengthened in size and moved closer to the coast, so snowfall amounts increased significantly," said National Weather Service Meteorologist Stephanie Dunten.
Temperatures will drop to the teens and single digits through Friday, even after the snow stops falling.
Not until Saturday is the pattern expected to break slightly, with a high temperature of 30. But even then there is a 30 percent chance of snow, as there is on Sunday, when temperatures may not get above the mid- to high-20s.
Dunten said forecasters are becoming more confident in the snowfall forecast for the storm that arrives Tuesday and Wednesday, but there could still be changes in the forecast.
"There's a possibility it could be a little higher or a little lower, depending on the track of the storm," Dunten said.
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