Here Comes A Blizzard

 Our blockbuster storm is still on track to wallop us with heavy snow, wind and coastal flooding over the next two days. The brunt of the storm will be late tonight and through the day tomorrow but lingering effects carry us into early Wednesday. This one has all the makings of a blizzard (not ready to go as far as “historic” or “one for the ages”) for many of us along the coast. To get to blizzard status we need:

* Wind speeds of at least 35mph–check
* reduced visibility to 1/4 mile or less–check

* Those two parameters happening for at least 3 consecutive hours will make our nor’easter a blizzard. The should happen for the city of Boston as well as several other communities along the coastline (it’s doubtful to be classified as a blizzard in places like Fitchburg or Jaffrey). Blizzard or no blizzard it’s a powerhouse storm heading this way.

The first flakes fall mid afternoon and continue through the evening and then intensity around midnight. Travel is this morning and to start the afternoon but it ill get a little dicey late day and more so late this evening. Travel won’t be a good idea after midnight and for much of Tuesday with bands of heavy snow even overwhelming the road crews at times. Our *special* map in the maps section lays out snowfall potential…basically it’s a lot.

Wind cranks late this evening and lasts until early Wednesday. Most of the wind will be focused at the coastline where gusts will exceed 60 mph on several occasions late tonight and right through late Tuesday night. Out on the Cape/Islands a couple of gusts to Hurricane Force (75mph) are likely. This type of wind is damaging so plan to lose power–especially on the Cape/Islands as well as Buzzards Bay and even the lower South Shore (near the Canal). Metro Boston-North Shore scattered power outages are likely due to this type of wind. West of I-95 wind will be closer to 20-30mph which may lead to some isolated power outages (but not likely).

This wind also means a coastal flood concern. As of now it appears two high tide cycles are the issue (the Blizzard of ’78 had 4 high tide cycles) centered on Tuesday…..the 4 am high tide and then the 5 pm high tide. Places like Chatham (east side), Scituate, Revere and Newburyport could see major coastal flooding early tomorrow morning and everywhere else moderate coastal flooding is anticipated.

The whole thing moves out on Wednesday morning and replaced by sunshine but cold temps.

Updates throughout the day….

~JR