3/13/17 Evening Update on Major Blizzard

Here is the evening update on the storm.

Precipitation Types

For the majority of the area, this is an all-snow deal, with a fluffier consistency west, a wetter consistency east, and  in between a mix solution. At the immediate coast, mixed precip will be possible for a time.

Hazards

Heavy snow, blowing and drifting snow, poor visibility with whiteout conditions, very dangerous travel, strong to damaging winds. Coastal flooding and beach erosion at the coast.

Blizzard warnings are out for a majority of the region, with areas in and right around Boston and points south, along with southwest NH, under winter storm warnings instead.

Timing

Snow begins very early Tuesday morning and quickly becomes heavy. The worst of the storm is late Tuesday morning into Tuesday evening. The snow then tapers off during the overnight hours.

Impact

Travel will be life-threatening with heavy snow throughout the day Tuesday. You should have any travel completed by some time between 6 and 8 AM, and be ready to stay at that place until, at the very least, some point between 11 PM and 2 AM Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) if you absolutely have to – and preferably you should be able to stay at that place into later Wednesday morning; it is not particularly clear how fast that plows can clear roads once the storm ends and night driving should not be done if at all possible until more cleanup can be done. Contributing to the travel issues will be snow covered roads (to which plows may not be able to keep up with in spots during the worst of it), along with poor visibility with whiteout conditions due to strong winds that will blow around snow, along with all the other joys of driving in strong winds. At times, just about any travel of any type is going to be nearly impossible.

Those same strong winds may also cause tree damage and power outages, especially at the coast where coastal flooding will also cause problems. Winds may gust up to 50 mph to the west and up to 60 mph in eastern portions.

Schools are certain to be closed Tuesday, and probably on Wednesday too (to permit extra cleanup).

Snowfall Amounts

 

18-24″ is likely for most. 12-18″ is likely closer to the North Shore and closer to Boston (east of a Worcester to Methuen to Manchester line), with 8-12″ likely right up against the coast from Gloucester on to near Boston and points south.

snowmap 3-13-17 700p.png

Uncertainty

As with any storm, there is the possibility of a dry slot forming somewhere. It’s not entirely clear where such a dry slot would set up – it could set up anywhere, and this includes what I am currently pegging as the jackpot zone (however, it is less likely to be in that zone). However, if I had to pick one area for significant bust potential, it would be Rhode Island and parts of eastern MA south of the Mass Pike.

Speaking of that area, the mix line will also be an issue. If the storm nudges slightly east, then the mix line moves dramatically south, and thus delivers more snow to the Boston metro area. Slightly west, less snow. (The 18-24″ zone and most of the 12-18″ should remain all snow.)

The Boston metro area is the most bust-prone part of this forecast.

Have a good one!

-Nathan

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3 Replies to “3/13/17 Evening Update on Major Blizzard”

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