Storm Rage(d)

We’ve been hammering home the “nasty nor’easter” thing all day. If you were outside at any point today, you know what we mean.

Lot of different takes on this storm. Some wanted snow, others advocated for rain (“Don’t have to shovel it,” said one), but no one really rooted for the wind. Which, according to our observations, clobbered the coast/Capes/Islands. (See right.)

Water, water everywhere. Some spots surpassed the 2″ mark, and a few even passed 4″!! So what the heck happened on the North Shore this afternoon?

I’ll tell you what. From roughly Natick to Waltham and then straight from Somerville, Medford to Peabody and Topsfield, the heavens opened up. Moist winds flowing in from the ocean ran into chilly winds blowing from the north/northeast over land. The air was so saturated with water that what would normally be a casual collision of airmasses became the straw that broke the camel’s back in a raging nor’easter. It pushed the air up and wrung out the water from the sky. Basements and intersections filled with water in a matter of 30 minutes.

Now, had this been snow…wait a minute.

It’s hard to equate rain to snow in situations like this. Mostly because warm air holds more moisture (read rain) than cold air. My best guess is at least a foot and a half to two feet if we stayed all snow.

In any event, we’ve weathered the worst of this storm. Ramp down in the next few hours as the storm center closes in on us. It’s ironic, I know – you’d think the storm would get worse as the center moves overhead, but it’s pretty tame underneath this nor’easter. Winds are 5-15 mph, lighter showers are present, and a general calmness exists.

Sounds pretty good, eh? Well, by Friday you’ll be sick of it. This same storm center will stew overhead for the next few days. Rain will be intermittent, and even a few snowflakes may mix in by Thursday (no accumulation).

The question now becomes (on these darkest days of the year) when will we see the sun? I’m working on it. But for now, it seems like some glimpses are possible on Friday with increasing sun through the weekend. Pattern remains quiet, and the arctic air remains absent….for the foreseeable future. After Christmas?? Or the New Year? I have my money on the latter.