It is amazing how quickly this storm came together over the weekend. What looked like energy which would slide south of New England has turned now in to a classic nor'easter blizzard coming up the coast and will strike the Northeast with historic amounts of snow! This will likely go down as a top five snowstorm for New England when all is said and done, with amounts similar to our greatest New England snowstorms!
Monday will start off quiet with cold high pressure just to our north. Clouds will be thickening through the day and winds will begin to become breezy from the ENE during the afternoon. Much of Monday will provide the needed break to get last-second errands done. A potent shortwave will dig in across the southeastern U.S. Monday. This energy will be directed up the coast a negatively tilted trough, which will enable surface low development off the mid-Atlantic coast and explosive cyclogenesis south of New England Monday night.
By mid-late afternoon, the snow will be arriving in southern New England and quickly spreading north towards the Massachusetts Turnpike for the afternoon commute. It is likely that the Monday evening commute may have to contend with one to three inches of snow by 7 p.m. The snow will begin to fill in rapidly Monday evening, with the heaviest snow happening from midnight through 10 a.m. Tuesday. Along with good lift in the atmosphere, and the cold temperatures above our heads, conditions will be ripe for optimal snow growth where snowfall rates of two to four inches per hour will occur at this time. Because of the incredible dynamics in play, thundersnow is another likely possibility during the early morning hours of Tuesday.
There is plenty of agreement with all of our models that show the explosive potential of this storm. There are also numerous aspects that make this storm much different from the last storm we just had, but the number one ingredient that will help make this storm a blockbuster powerhouse is a cold-strengthening high to our north which that be the supplier of cold air into the low and across the Northeast.
Because of this cold supply, this will be a colder storm. Temperatures will be in the teens and 20s inland, which will make for a fluffier snow and higher snow ratios, which could range 15-1 to 20-1. Along the coast, northeast winds will bring in slightly warmer air off the water so a heavier, sticky snow is expected along the coast with temps in the upper 20s and lower 30s towards the Cape. A coastal front will set up along the coast, the boundary separating the slightly warmer marine air from the colder polar air across the interior. Moisture will be directed into this cold air mass from winds aloft and the deepening low at the surface. Heavier amounts of snow are are likely on the colder side of this coastal front where heavier bands of snow will likely develop right along the I-95 corridor. On the colder side of this coastal front, there is the potential for two to three feet of snow to fall. It is hard to even type that!
Across southeastern Massachusetts and the Cape and Islands, a warmer, wetter snow is likely, which will help to keep accumulations down to 12-18 inches of snow. Here, there is a greater chance for tree damage and power outages due to the combination heavy snow and strong winds from the northeast. With a deepening high to our north, and a deepening low to our south, a much tighter gradient of wind will be directed into New England from the Northeast with powerful winds which will become damaging. Some of our models show the potential for Hurricane gusts of 70 or more mph for the Outer Cape and Islands late Monday night and early Tuesday morning. Gusts to 50-60 mph are possible across southeastern Massachusetts at this time, as well. High winds and along with heavy snow from the winter storm could knock out power. It is important to make a plan for how you'll stay warm if you lose heat. Please take time to stock up on emergency supplies and fill up your gas tank if you have not done so already.
Blizzard warnings are now in effect from Monday night through early Wednesday morning across eastern and southern New England. The combination of visibility below a quarter mile and winds over 35 mph for three consecutive hours is the blizzard criterion that will easily be met.
- HAZARD TYPES: HEAVY SNOW...STRONG WINDS AND BLIZZARD CONDITIONS. CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. STRONG TO
- DAMAGING WINDS.
- ACCUMULATIONS: SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF AROUND 20 TO 30 INCHES... WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. SNOWFALL RATES OF 2 TO 4 INCHES AN
- HOUR AT TIMES.
- TIMING: WHILE THE STORM IS EXPECTED LATE MONDAY LINGERING INTO EARLY WEDNESDAY...THE WORST OF THE STORM WILL BE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON.
- IMPACTS: HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS WILL RESULT IN WHITE-OUT /BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WITH NEAR ZERO VISIBILITY. TRAVEL WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE AND LIFE THREATENING ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION. ALSO SNOW MAY BE WET ENOUGH TO RESULT IN DOWNED TREE LIMBS AND POWER OUTAGES IN ADDITION TO THE WINDS.
- WINDS: NORTH-NORTHEAST 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 65 TO 75 MPH. THE HEIGHT OF THE WINDS WILL BE LATE MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY. THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL BE ACROSS THE COASTAL AREAS
- SEAS: SEAS WILL BUILD TO 15 TO 25 FEET OFF THE COAST, ALONG WITH HIGH ASTRONOMICAL TIDES...WILL CREATE STORM SURGES RUNNING 3-4 FEET ABOVE THE NORMAL TIDE. A SERIOUS CONSIDERATION COMPARABLE TO SOME OF OUR WORST COASTAL STORMS.
- COASTAL FLOODING: MODERATE TO ISOLATED POCKETS OF MAJOR COASTAL FLOODING EXPECTED ALONG WITH SEVERE BEACH EROSION DURING THE EARLY TUESDAY MORNING HIGH TIDE AND POSSIBLY AGAIN FOR THE LATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON HIGH TIDE.
- FLOODING OF VULNERABLE SHORE ROADS AND BASEMENTS EXPECTED DURING THE TUESDAY EARLY MORNING HIGH TIDE. SOME STRUCTURAL DAMAGE IS LIKELY IN THE MOST VULNERABLE LOCATIONS. SEVERE BEACH EROSION IS ALSO EXPECTED.
- COMMUNITIES MOST LIKELY TO BE IMPACTED BY MODERATE TO MAJOR COASTAL FLOODING ARE NEWBURYPORT, GLOUCESTER, SCITUATE, SANDWICH, CHATHAM, NANTUCKET.
The snow will not be as heavy Tuesday afternoon, but it will still be snowing in varying intensities right through Tuesday night as the storm will still be raging just off the coast of Cape Cod. Winds will still be strong and the late afternoon high tide Tuesday will
likely be another problem to contend with more coastal flooding.
This storm will be extremely dangerous for being out on the roads and will knock out the power to tens of thousands. Travel after 7 p.m. Monday night and before the storm is over is not recommended. The impact of this storm will be high. Please take necessary precautions to keep you and your family safe in this storm. Stay tuned to the forecast as we will keep you up to date with any further changes.