As expected light and intermittent snow began early this morning and became steadier and heavier as we moved through the afternoon. Winds have ramped up with gusts frequently 35 mph or higher. Temperatures reached the low 30s, which has made for a pasty snow so far. The teeth of this storm will be upon us soon and the real show begins by evening and lasts all night.
The nor’easter is taking shape over the waters south of Long Island and will be a formidable and significant storm for the metro Boston area through tonight and into Saturday. A Blizzard Warning is in effect until 1 pm Saturday. This will be one we will talk about for years to come. Colder air begins to drain into the area as temperatures are expected to fall into the teens overnight. That will make for a fluffier snow with significant drifting and blowing snow. Snowfall rates will increase rapidly early tonight along with the higher winds. The snow may fall at a rate of 1 to as much as 3 inches per hour at times. Don’t be surprised if you hear a rumble of thunder as well. Winds are forecast to gust to near 60 mph along the coast and about 45 mph inland.
The storm system winds up off the New Jersey coast and will move northeast to a position near Nantucket Island overnight and off the Nova Scotia coast Saturday night. Heavy snow, high winds, blowing and drifting snow and white out conditions can be expected throughout the night into mid day on Saturday. When all is said and done most of the area should see two feet of snow, with a few areas approaching 30 inches or so. Five foot snow drifts are likely. Even though the snow begins to taper off during the afternoon it will remain cold and windy with occasional snow showers into the evening hours. High temperatures will only reach near 20 degrees Saturday and dip to 10 to 15 degrees Saturday night. Winds continue to gust to near 50 mph along the coast, diminishing overnight.
Sunday will actually be a sparkling sunny day as we begin the clean up process. Still a biting wind early in the day. The mercury should recover to 30 to 35 degrees.
Coastal flooding is a concern and along with the Blizzard Warning there is also a Coastal Flood Warning for the eastern Massachusetts coastline. High tides tonight and Saturday morning will be the two tide cycles of concern. According to the National Weather Service moderate coastal flooding is likely for tonight’s high tide and moderate to major coastal flooding is likely for Saturday morning’s high tide. The east and north facing shorelines south of Boston will likely see the worst impacts. Impacts will be shore road closings due to flooding during tonight’s high tide. On Saturday morning, numerous shore roads become impassable and puts some structures at risk along the immediate shore. Very large breakers are expected to crash onto the shoreline Saturday morning. The most vulnerable areas will be Hull and Scituate, but folks on the North Shore need to stay vigilant and be aware of high tides and possible impacts on the shore. Tonight’s high tide is about 9 pm, with the tides high again mid morning Saturday.
With the high winds always comes the likelihood of power outages. Already there have been scattered outages reported and this will certainly become more widespread as the storm worsens. According to Governor Patrick’s news conference earlier today the utility companies will not begin with restoring service until the worst of the storm is over. Be prepared for outages tonight and Saturday.