Perhaps one of the most astounding parts of our New England storm this week is the duration of powerful wind. While the snow will blanket some areas and coastal flooding will pound others, nearly all of Eastern New England sees wind gusts exceeding 40 mph for about 2 days straight - and Wednesday saw widespread gusts over 35mph, as well!
It's not too uncommon that New Englanders see wind gusts of this magnitude, but what is more rare is to see such winds for days on end, both daytime and nighttime. I have little doubt we'll see wind damage over the course of the storm - particularly tree limbs that succumb to the pressure, and in far Southeastern Massachusetts where the ground is soft and more rain than snow will fall, some uprooting is possible. Of course, scattered power outages are likely to occur at virtually anytime Thursday morning through Friday evening, and most of Eastern New England is vulnerable with the immediate coast being most vulnerable. As has been highlighted, the effect of this persistent wind on the ocean will be to roil massive waves of 25 to 30 feet, resulting in storm surge, coastal flooding to rival that of the Blizzard of 2013 on some of the South Shore (which was the worst for places like Scituate and Sandwich since the Blizzard of 1978), and severe beach erosion.
When will the strongest wind gusts of the entire storm occur? Likely late Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening, overall, when gusts to over 60 mph are likely, and a few immediate coastal gusts to 70 mph are possible on Cape Cod. The image at left can be enlarged by clicking on it, and indicates estimated wind gusts at 4 PM Thursday.
Check out the wind forecast at lunchtime Thursday, then for Friday, just below...
Thursday Lunchtime Wind Gust Estimate:
Friday Lunchtime Wind Gust Estimate: