Historic blizzard for the northeast

Posted at 5:57 PM, Feb 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-08 18:19:56-05

The storm that brought rain to the area Thursday night into Friday morning has moved off to our northeast.  A second storm is moving from the Great Lakes into New England.  The two storms are combining into one major storm system.  The entire storm continues to strengthen off the northeastern coast.

This “nor’easter” will pummel New England with one of the highest snowfalls in history.  Some places could see around three feet of snow in a span of less than 24 hours.  Snowfall rates of two to four inches per hour will be possible.

The massive storm will also produce extremely strong winds.  Sustained winds in excess of 35 mph will be possible for many hours with gusts from 40 to 75 mph.  The strongest winds will be close to the coastline.  Winds of 74 mph or stronger are hurricane strength.  Widespread power outages will occur.

Heavy snowfall, combined with strong winds, will cause significant blowing and drifting snow.  This will produce near zero visibility (“white out conditions”) and snow drifts of three to five feet — possibly higher.

Blizzard warnings are in effect a good chunk of New England.

A blizzard is defined as a period of three hours or longer with:

  • Sustained winds of 35 mph winds or higher
  • Visibility of one-quarter mile or less

Snowfall totals of two to three feet will occur in parts of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire & Maine.

If Boston receives more than 27.6″ of snow from this storm, it will be the biggest snow storm in Boston’s history.

The snow and strong winds will taper off late Saturday into Saturday night.

Coastal flood warnings are in effect for many towns.  The nor’easter will create a storm surge of three to five feet.  This will be about a third of what Sandy produced in late October, but many of those locations are vulnerable due to previous damage.