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Fresh snow gives Boston two new records

It may be early Thursday morning before the latest snowstorm to hit eastern Massachusetts is over but it is already a record setting weather event.

By early Wednesday afternoon Boston had not only set a new record for total snowfall in the month of January but it also had established a new mark for the most snow in any one month in 133 years of recorded weather history in Boston.

Going into Wednesday's storm the January record for Boston was 39.8 inches set in 1996. Meanwhile the record for the greatest amount of snow for a single month in Boston was 41.6 inches set in February 2003.

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At the outset Wednesday the National Weather Service had measured 37.7 inches of snowfall at Logan Airport this month. At 1:55 p.m. Wednesday the NWS reported the new storm had dumped 4.5 inches of snow at Logan bringing the total at that point for the month to 42.2 inches setting records in both categories and the snow was still coming down.

Even though early Wednesday afternoon there was a lull in snowfall in some areas, forecasters warned particularly along coastal areas the snow would continue through most of the night. It was also pointed out that winds from the northwest would produce more drifting and make travel even more difficult because of reduced visibility.

Some areas of Cape Cod, the South Shore, and Cape Ann may get up to 10 inches of new snow before the storm ends Thursday morning.

And then it is going to be two days of bitter cold.

Thursday night even for Boston it is expected the temperature will be around zero with wind chill values as low as 18 below.

Not only was highway traffic slowed during the Wednesday morning rush, but commuter trains coming from west of the city were reported running up to 30 minutes late. Meanwhile at Logan Airport only one runway was operating at one point and thus delays up to two hours were being reported at the airport, which had been shutdown for 29 hours during the blizzard this past weekend.

As the day went on travel in the Charlestown-Somerville area was made difficult when a water main let go on Broadway near Sullivan Square busting up the street and flooding four homes.

The storm was also wreaking havoc for the region's school officials as countless cities and towns not only had to keep schools closed Wednesday but were fearful many would remain closed Thursday. Boston Public Schools will not only be closed Thursday, but also on Friday.

Though the snowfall forecast seemed paltry compared to the 38 inches that fell on some coastal towns near Boston on Saturday and Sunday, it was still bad news, even for winter-hardened New Englanders.

Maurice DuBois, 55, was making some extra money by shoveling the sidewalk in front of some businesses on Northampton's Main Street.

"This is just another winter to me," said DuBois, a New England native who also lived in Alaska. "But the older you get, the more you dislike it. It's hard on the body."

More snow was particularly troubling for Cape Cod and the islands, where the weekend's massive snowfall knocked out power to thousands of homes and some roads remained unplowed two days later.

"It will be near-blizzard conditions at times (on Cape Cod), with the winds increasing tonight," Tracy McCormick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton said Wednesday.

McCormick blamed the latest storm on an "Alberta Clipper" -- a weather system that originates in Canada and moves at a fast pace. She said a low-pressure front was expected to move south of New England Wednesday night, then out to sea.

Material from the Associated Press was used in the preparation of this report.

 

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