Just before I go to sleep for a few hours I wanted to update the afternoon blog. Everything seems on track so far. The bands of heavy snow are starting to rotate around the storm into New England and throughout the night there will be periods of intense snow at 1 to 3 inches per hour. Many of you will record a foot or more of snow from now until 7AM and I would not be surprised if some places saw 15 inches during this time.
If you are watching the radar look for areas where the darker green and yellow are. These areas represent the heaviest of the snow and where accumulations will be greatest. The wind will continue to pick up throughout the night.
I expect power outages to be most numerous along the coastline, but inland areas will see some issues as well.
The storm is still on track for tonight and Tuesday. Here is the latest radar forecast showing the snow slowly overspreading the area this evening. The heaviest will move in after 11 PM. While there will be some snow shower activity this afternoon, I don't expect travel issues to develop.
Some of you have asked about the weight of the snow. The map below shows highs tomorrow. It's going to be cold enough to keep the snow light and fluffy, easy to move, except south of Boston along the coast where highs make it above freezing and some rain mixes in.
Itís a waiting game at this point. Thereís no way we arenít going to see a major storm; itís just a question of how major. Is it areas around Boston, Providence, Worcester, Hartford that sees the most snow or some smaller hamlet? Could Plymouth or Sharon be the winner of the highest snow total prize? Weíll know the answer tomorrow night.
There is a lot of upper level energy associated with a strong jet stream combining with a storm at the surface to yield the perfect recipe for a classic New England nor'easter. The storm will become captured by the jet stream above and move a small distance during Tuesday. Like other great New England snowstorms, this stall is one of the major reasons snow amounts will grow to near historic levels.
I'll update the forecast and have lots of maps and other tidbits throughout the storm on Twitter @growingwisdom. Please follow me there. I'll answer as many questions as I can.
Storms like this where everyone gets a lot of snow, still have pockets where there is even more snow. Back in the Blizzard of 1978, while Boston had over 27 inches of snow, there were areas not too far to the north that had significantly less. This storm will no doubt bring some surprises of snowfall.
There is a chance this storm becomes one of the top snow makers of all time, but itís quite likely it makes it into the top 10 and a better than even chance we now see a top 5 storm in Boston. The map below gives the odds of hitting 2 feet of snow. Notice the odds are quite high around Boston to Plymouth.
This storm will cripple travel through Tuesday afternoon and it will take until Thursday before things start to get back to normal. These types of storms can shut Logan Airport down for at least a day even after the worst of the storm has ended.
Everything will be closed tomorrow and many schools will be closed Wednesday and some the rest of the week, because the sidewalks wonít be clear.
Our world is about to be transformed into a mantle of white with enormous snowbanks, drifts and deep snow across the landscape. Two lane roads will become one lane and we all are going to have to add 10 minutes to wherever we are going for a while.
It all begins this afternoon with the snow starting light and then becoming increasingly heavy during the evening and overnight. I would plan on being home by 5-6 PM. There will likely be snow by then, but not heavy yet. Along the south coast the snow will become moderate earlier so if you live there you might head home a bit earlier. The map below is for 7PM. The darker blue represents the start of the moderate snow.
6PM This evening-1AM Tuesday
The storm will ramp up during this time period. I expect a few inches of snow north of the Massachusetts Turnpike with up to 6 inches south heading towards Connecticut and Rhode Island. Winds will increase, but the power should still be on for most of us.
The fury of the storm will be heard outside your window. Snow will fall at 1 to as much as 3 inches per hour. Power outages will increase as the winds gust over 50 miles per hour along the coast. There will be 12-20 inches of snow on the ground north to south with lesser amounts over the outer Cape where it may change to rain for a while and the snow will be sticky and wet.
The high tide during this period will bring the highest risk for moderate to major coastal flooding and perhaps some structural damage to homes. The maps below give an idea of the wind gusts during the peak of the storm.
The storm will still be going but at times you might notice the snow fall let up just a bit. We will still see another 4-8 inches of snow during this time and winds will be gusting over 40 miles per hour at times. Winds could reach hurricane strength over Cape Cod and the Islands. Much of the accumulating snow will have fallen by the end of this time period, but there is still more to go.
It is still going to be snowing and there will an additional 3-6 inches of snow, especially over eastern Massachusetts. The wind will be gusty, but diminishing and not as ferocious. The high tide during this period should see less severe coastal flooding, but still lots of erosion and many shore roads will flood.
I wouldnít be surprise to see some snow showers continue during this time, but it wonít amount to more than a coating to 3 inches. By then, youíll be an expert at snow clearing.
More Snow and Cold
There is the chance for some snow Thursday night and into Friday. This storm will be a close call and Iíll have more information later this week when I have better data. A very cold air mass is poised to move south from the arctic late this weekend or early next week. This cold will likely rival anything we have seen this year and has the potential to be the coldest air we have seen in decades.
The next 10 days of winter are going to remind anyone over a certain age of the winters of 1976-1977, 1977-1978, or even some of the cold and snow winters of the 1950s.