I know what you’re thinking. “I thought it’s supposed to snow with a nor’easter.”
Not all the time. There is no hard, fast definition for the term nor’easter. Even the very word is in dispute. The Globe prefers to use northeaster, we use the old timers version.
In any event, the storm is nearly upon us. All the ingredients are there for a major blow of wind and rain. Right now, the arctic air is still present, giving us little snow grains (or graupel). Why the grains and not pure dendrite snowflakes? There’s a mini layer of warm air above us that partially melts the edges of the flake, creating a ball of snow instead of a beautiful snowflake.
As the cold holds on through much of the night away from the coast, warmer air will feed in along the water’s edge. This creates a huge temperature gradient where the Cape may hit 40+ and Bedford sits at 27 or 28. With the upper air also warm, this is an icing setup. While precipitation will remain light, into the early morning, don’t be surprised to see a light glaze of ice in the suburbs.
Once the main event gets underway in the mid-morning, we’ll be all liquid rain. And then the heavens open up…through early afternoon. Buckets of rain could cause localized flooding, nevermind traveling in a monsoon. Check out this wall of water as it approaches Southern New England tomorrow at 8am:
By the time the evening drive rolls around, the heaviest rain will shift north, and we’ll be in the lighter showers.
Wind is another worry in this storm. At their fiercest, the winds could gust to 50-60 mph all along Rts. 1, 3 and 6. Cape Ann, the North/South Shore, Cape Cod and the Islands will be particularly hard hit with potential power outages into tomorrow evening. Time frame for the worst wind seems to run from late morning through late afternoon. Hang on tight.
With such a massive storm, the ocean will be churning. Due to the fact that we’ve passed the highest tides of the month, the coastal flood threat will be minimized, but not minimal. Minor/moderate flooding can be expected at time of high tide either side of noontime tomorrow. And with an angry sea, beach erosion will be ongoing through Wednesday and Thursday. Double ugh.
Speaking of, the wrap on this storm is difficult to see. It will slowly unravel and decay through Thursday, so off and on showers will be with us until then as well.
We’re here to assist throughout the storm. Stay with 7.