Residents woke to stunning snowfall amounts Saturday as the area was blasted with over two feet of snow throughout most of the North Shore and metro west through Friday night. Even Logan Airport recorded a whopping 25 inches, placing this storm 5th on the all time list for snowfall totals in a single event. Other notable snowfall amounts locally were as follows:
Framingham and Winchester 30”, Haverhill 28”, Lynn and Acton 27”, Salem 25”, Lawrence and Saugus 24”, Dracut 21” and Boxford 19”.
Generally two feet of snow fell, with a few pockets of near 30 inch totals. Snowdrifts up to 4 and 5 feet were also reported, with blowing snow making travel near impossible throughout the night.
The snowfall was driven by hurricane force wind gusts in some locations. Although the coast south of Boston, Cape Cod and the islands had the highest wind gusts, Logan Airport did record a hurricane force gust to 76 mph. Bedford also reported a hurricane force gust at 75 mph. Winds gusted to 71 mph near Cape Ann and 58 mph in Brookline. Just offshore a wind gust of 83 mph was reported just off Cuttyhunk. Those are jaw dropping numbers that will place the storm in the books as one of the most ferocious winter events we have ever experienced in these parts. Whether it surpasses the Blizzard of 1978 or not will be left up to others to debate. We still think the Blizzard of 1978 is the storm to measure all others against.
Another aspect of this historic storm was the coastal flooding, especially during Saturday mornings high tide. Scituate, Hull, Salisbury and Revere are just some of the locations that sustained coastal street flooding and localized structural damage to buildings.
Finally, power outages were also a major factor. We knew they were coming considering the forecast winds and heavier wet snow that fell over southeast Massachusetts. At the peak of the outages some 420,000 customers were without power in Massachusetts, mostly in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod.
The area came to a standstill Friday night and Saturday as a driving ban was in place, trains and buses were not running and virtually all businesses were shut down. Logan Airport will not resume flights until Sunday morning. Even the Boston Bruins were forced to cancel their game, which was originally scheduled for 1 pm, then moved to 7 pm and finally called off.
The massive storm has moved toward Nova Scotia and behind the system follows very cold air for tonight and early Sunday. Temperatures will fall to 5 to 10 degrees overnight. A nice recovery in temperatures will occur Sunday as temperatures max out in the low 30s. With a mostly sunny sky we will have some melting and it will be more comfortable for those who have to continue with clean up efforts. Another cold night will follow Sunday night, with inclement weather here to start the new work week. Believe it or not we are talking about periods of rain showers Monday, although the precipitation may begin as light snow or snow showers in the morning, especially away from the coast. This is not a big deal, mostly another nuisance event that may have some impact on Monday mornings commute. Temperatures Monday are expected to climb into the low 40s.