Here We Go… Thursday’s Storm

The image at the top of this post needs broken down.  The Blizzard Warning now includes Boston – but the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard are now under a Winter Storm Warning (because of mixing that will happen in these areas).  When we talk about a “blizzard” (perhaps you remember from past winters), we’re not just looking at the snow that’s expected – but also the strong wind that will blow the snow around and reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less…  These conditions have to persist for three consecutive hours (or longer) to verify a “blizzard” in any location.  Nantucket is under a High Wind Warning for strong and damaging wind – and much less snow.  For ACK, this looks like a mainly rain/mix and wind event.  Still, power outages are very likely with the strong wind – and with the wet/heavy snow across the Cape and islands (due to mixing).

Also, when we’re talking about expecting blizzard conditions – that means whiteout conditions are likely tomorrow which will make travel nearly impossible (and certainly not advised):

The other concern with the strong wind (from the north then northwest) will be the tides. Astronomical high tides on midday Thursday (combined with the wind) likely leading to minor – moderate coastal flooding. Pockets of moderate/major coastal flooding are likely in Sandwich and Scituate.  A Coastal Flood Warning has been issued:

A number of inlets are frozen over tonight–that ice is likely to be broken up by the storm and then sent ashore during the storm, furthering the concern for some structural damage where we do see pockets of moderate-major coastal flooding.

How much snow is on the way?  Here’s our latest thinking:

Bitter arctic air is back on Friday and stays right through the weekend. Wind chills on Friday and Saturday are dangerously low—nearing -25 in many locations. Even the actual temps will approach record territory on Saturday and again on Sunday.  This leads to even more concern – Those that lose power may be without power for a while… and no heat into this weekend will be brutal and dangerous.  Also – a flash freeze is a good likelihood for the areas that see a mix (Cape and islands)… something we’ll have to monitor moving through Friday.

Just a side note:  If you follow 7News Storm Force religiously (and if you do, we thank you!) then you probably know I love to talk about “bombogenesis.”  It’s fun to say – and fun to learn about – but it’s not Armageddon!!!  I know it sounds terrible to say “a bomb moving up the East Coast.”  Many people in media have said this in the last couple of days – They’ve also called this a “bomb cyclone” (due to the cyclonic wind flow of low pressure), even a “snow hurricane” (but NO with this one… just NO).  It’s nothing new!!!  I’ve talked about it so many times with so many Nor’Easters in my past 3.5 years here – that some of the 7News loyalists are probably calling me “Bombogenesis-Bri.”  It may sound scary – but it’s not saying this storm will be any worse than many of the other snowstorms we’ve experienced here.  What bombogenesis means is that a storm will drop at least 24mb in 24 hours – and intensify quickly.  This storm will be doing that overnight tonight and tomorrow – perhaps even falling more than 40mb in pressure.  It is a powerful storm!  But not the worst we’ve ever seen.

It’s a rough few days ahead – but we’ll weather it together.  – Breezy