Thursday, February 9, 2017

As Expected, Northeast Getting Snow Blasted Today

OK, it's not THIS bad in New York City, but still,
they're getting thumped by a big 10 inch
dump as today's big nor'easter passes by
That expected big nor'easter has cranked up as expected and places from New Jersey to Maine are getting hit hard, HARD by strong winds and blinding snow.

In some areas in the southern end of the storm, like New York City, there was record warmth in the low 60s yesterday. Today, there will be about 10 inches of new snow propelled by strong, cold northeast winds.

In fact, most of Long Island is under a blizzard warning, where more than a foot of snow is likely today with winds gusting to 50 mph.

At around 9 a.m. this morning, the center of the nor'easter was just off the New Jersey coast, heading northeast on a path that will take it today just southeast of Long Island, to just southeast of Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod, then off the Maine Coast.

This storm is a classic bomb.  The bomb moniker is given to a storm that strengthens very, very fast, explosively, really, which is why it's called a bomb.

Barometric pressure is a measure of how strong a storm is. The lower the pressure,  the stronger the storm. Nation Weather Service meteorologists are putting exclamation points on their forecast discussions of how quickly this storm is strenghtening, how fast its pressure is dropping, so you know it''s impressive.

In southern New England, this storm is so intense that snow during parts of the storm will fall at a rate of two to four inches per hour. As you can imagine, travel will be pretty much impossible in that area, especially when you factor in the winds, which will be getting stronger as the day goes by.

Thundersnow is also possible in southern and eastern New England. Also, a blizzard warning is now flying for Cape Cod and the islands, and the immediate coast of Massachusetts south of Boston. There, the heavy snow will be accompanied by winds of up to 65 mph.

It was still raining in far southeastern New England, including much of the blizzard warning zone as of 9:30 a.m., but they'll change to snow. The combination of rain water freezing,  a period of very wet slushy snow that will also freeze then deep powdery snow on top of that will make things particularly challenging in places south of Boston.

Widespread snow totals of 12 to 18 inches are likely across southern New England with six to 12 inches near the coasts of New Hampshire and Maine.

This is impressive. The only limiting factor is this nor'easter is moving very fast, so the heaviest snow won't last more than 12 hours in any one spot.  Had the storm been moving more slowly, this would have been one of those historic epic storms that you'd up up telling your grandkids about.


The snow reached a bit further north and west than I expected, covering all of Vermont with some snow. It's light up in the northwest corner of Vermont. As of 9 a.m. Thursday, there was less than an inch of new snow at my weather hacienda in St. Albans, in the northwest corner of the state and it was still snowing lightly.

The snow piled up much more the further south and east you go across Vermont. It was enough to close a lot of schools in central and southern Vermont.

At this time, accumulations with this thing will amount to about an inch or less in the northwest corner of the state, close to two inches around Burlington, three or four inches around Montpelier, five to seven inches around Rutland and White River Junction, and up to a foot down by Brattleboro.

The snow in Vermont will taper off to flurries from northwest to southeast later this morning and this afternoon as the big nor'easter zips past New England.

Lots of cold air is rushing in. Temperatures are in the teens today and blustery north winds will keep wind chills below zero into Friday. It'll get down close to zero tonight and stay in the teens Friday.

That's not extreme for February, but it's a lot colder than we've gotten used to in this rather warm winter.

Looking ahead, a weak storm will drop light snow on us Saturday, and a stronger one Sunday, Sunday night and early Monday looks like it could drop either a fairly decent amount of snow or quite a bit of mixed precipitation.

We'll watch that one.

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