Snow began falling in New England Friday Night February 6th, 2015. The anniversary The Blizzard of 1978. Snow was still falling as of press-time Tuesday Morning February 10th.
This storm did not even live up to its potential. The low-pressure system that caused 1 foot of rain in California last Thursday moved to Ohio and then jumped south to South Carolina. If that Low had kept moving east to near Long Island as we expected, it actually could have been worse. Our Tuesday morning Feb. 10 NOAA weather map shows the low east of Cape Hatteras, that was the juicy one. If it had tacked closer to Long Island, as Friday night guidance indicated, we would have had the two feet of snow all the way to Mount Washington, and a rain to snow storm south of Boston. But the weaker wave east of Nantucket did plenty of Damage. In hind sight, I forgot to apply an Old-School-Rule, 'the latitude a storm from the Pacific makes land fall on the west coast, it's likely to reach the Atlantic near the same latitude. The storm hit near Crescent City CA 41.76n, and went off near Wrightsville Beach NC 34.21n. Wow, more than 500 miles farther south. The power of heavy arctic air! The anomalous warm water off our east coast pulled it, as the arctic air pushed it. A good lesson.
Did you notice the barometer on Monday? It pointed to fair sky. That is because it was a high pressure system over Quebec that caused the cold and snow. The reason it snowed so hard was due to the gradient between the very cold air north and the warm and humid air south. Very weak waves of low-pressure rippled along the boundary. Did you hear that it was 82° in Kansas on February 6? At the same time it was -40 at Hudson Bay Canada! Add in Pacific energy and it was a loaded system. A 'weak' front produced a huge snowstorm in a small location, southeastern New England.
When I noticed that remnant low was going to miss, I reduced the snowfall forecast on Sunday night February 8. To all of our astonishment a much weaker wave of low-pressure or two waves, moving south of New England induced 20. Inches of snow anyway. I am astounded.
Shed sized drifts of snow in the yard. Plymouth County Massachusetts looks more like northern Vermont. I stopped in Canton, Massachusetts, and measured 36 inch snow depth!
Then on the drive north it got much colder. Temperatures of 10 to 15° in central and northern New England fed into the north side of the boundary, it was 30° on the coast where it was snowing.
Heavy now bands, with great dendrite snowflakes, extended north into Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. When arriving at Merrimack New Hampshire, I was surprised the snow was coming down heavier than when I left Massachusetts. It appears a foot of snow fell here also.
Massachusetts has declared a state of emergency to get federal help for cleaning up after the unprecedented 60 inches of snowfall in less than three weeks. We need all the help we can get. How big is this machine? Check it out compared to my Jeep.
Our weather is turning quiet for a couple days. But there is so much cold in Canada, and the Parade of storms off the Pacific continues (great news for California). When those West Coast storms cross the Rockies, they tend to lose their identity. But when feeding on the Canadian Chill, then The Atlantic Warmth and Water, they re-energize and pound coastal Eastern North America. We have to watch out for another couple weeks. The pipeline is full, our record snow and potentially coldest air in a decade or more still lie ahead.It appears there is potential for a polar for text like storm, or two, in the water off New England through Valentines day weekend. We are in for more of 'never before' (at least in our lifetime) snow, ice, and cold. It should be very interesting on Cape Cod and the Islands.
Jeff Merz shared this photo from Dennis Massachusetts of the ice on Cape Cod Bay. He says it extends a mile out. What happens when storm force winds send this ice toward the shore on the north side of Cape Cod? It should be quite the spectacle. It's time to take a day off from the weather, hoping to ski some fresh powder in Vermont to clear the mind, before coming back to cover more his stork snowstorms.
Shoveled 5" 3 times in Scituate, yet never measured more than 8" for the three day storm. Maybe in a future post, we will take up the issue of snowfall measurement. It is highly subjective (though it should not be). We may not be able to trust those numbers we see on TV.
Late Breaking News. A roof collapsed in Hingham Massachusetts this morning. The building was not occupied, no injuries.