The Unstable Nodes

It’s another blizzard! Surely we’ve been here before, right?

Wrong. According to the National Weather Service, two blizzards have never verified in Boston during the winter season (DJF) – or even a calendar year! So there will be a lot of anticipation for this event, both for the record books and for the general public.

Why are we even here? How are so many storms (3 nor’easters in the last 6 days) forming? What’s going on??

We live in a special part of the world. Here, and in the Northwest Pacific – off the coast of Japan – permanent unstable nodes exist in the atmosphere. Essentially, these atmospheric nodes are nurseries for storm development. Energy is shifted into the nodes and storms can form – into coastal storms, nor’easters or blizzards. These storms then go on to cross the Pacific and Atlantic and make landfall on the West Coast, in Europe and the British Isles. It’s inherent to the general atmospheric setup across the Northeastern U.S. that storms of this nature form. So before you hate the pattern we’re in, realize that the forces are sometimes aligned against us.

Now, back to the blizzard. Big snow on the way again, but we’re talking less than 2 feet this time around – how sad is that to celebrate? Here’s the timeline:

* Snow starts just after lunch tomorrow. Becomes steady by evening with about 3-5″ on the ground by 5-6pm. Winds mostly light from the southeast.
* Snow could pause briefly through the evening, then rapidly increase in intensity by midnight as the storm goes berserk offshore.
* Expect winds to ramp up in earnest by then too. Gusts will shake the windows and rattle the doors. In fact, at the height of the storm in the wee hours of Sunday, we could see hurricane force wind gusts on the Cape/Islands (that’s 74mph!). Get ready for another wild ride.

In the long range, we offer hope. There are signs the pattern may be shifting next week, and although there may be some more accumulation on Wednesday as a storm passes by offshore, it’s not a nor’easter, it’s not a blizzard, and it’s a sign the end is near.

Notice I didn’t say anything about the cold. That stays. Across the board, the signal is cold into early March. Spring is but a dream for now…but for the snowbound, the nightmare is about to begin.

Stay with 7 News throughout the (Second) Blizzard of 2015.

Pete