I feel like it's been weeks since we first predicted this storm, but in reality it has only been a few days. Now it is time to finish preparing for the storm and get ready to be inside for the day tomorrow. I think we have grown very averse to being inconvenienced because the reality is that there will only be about 24 hours when you can't get around. Power is the big concern for most of us, and if it does go out, hopefully it will return fairly quickly. There has been so much warning with this storm that I imagine most of the area will be unusually today. I also suspect that since the storm is occurring overnight tonight and Saturday that crews will be able to clean up easier than if it was a mid-week storm.. If you have last minute things you do want to get done try to be home by 3 PM this afternoon. As usual I will be updating the forecast on on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there.
Now the waiting begins. Blizzard warnings, high wind warnings, coastal flood warnings, the table has been set for a historic storm for much of central and southern New England. Snow flurries have started in some places along the coast, but will only accumulate a few inches by 4PM. From about 9 PM tonight through mid-morning Saturday, our storm will be at its most intense. After that snow will continue much of Saturday afternoon, but I only expect an additional few inches during that time.
High tide occurs around 9 PM tonight and again approximately 10 AM Saturday. Each of those tides has the potential for coastal flooding. Right now, we are not looking at major coastal damage, but the situation will need to be monitored closely. There are two maps below to help you see which part of the coastline is most vulnerable.
How much snow?
Below is my map of snowfall accumulations. This is my thinking: We are going to get more than a foot of snow. I feel very confident about that part of the forecast. I even think that many areas will exceed 18 inches of snow. There will be bulls eye of accumulation that reaches 24 to perhaps 32 inches of snow from this storm. The favorite place for that spot is about 20 miles southwest of Boston. However, until the storm is underway, we won't know for sure if or where that will materialize. If you start experiencing thunder and lightning tonight, you can bet you will end up as one of the town on the higher end of snow totals.
One of the biggest issues from any large storm is the loss of power. While I can't say what will happen to you and your home, most of us should keep our power through the storm. That doesn't mean that the number of people who do lose power might not reach 10, 20 or 50 or 100 thousand for a while, but I don't expect this to be a storm which causes extensive power issues such as those during the October storm of 2010. There are several reason for my thinking. First, we have had some major wind storms the past 18 months and these storms have culled the "tree herd" of the weakest specimens. This means fewer trees remain to fall on power lines. Second, the snow will not be a heavy wet type that weighs down utilities. Finally, utility companies have put in place new plans because of other issue that should help restore power faster. That said, I recommend keeping your home a few degrees warmer tonight before you go to bed in case you do lose power. That way your house will take a bit longer to cool off if you have no heat.
Right now there are two storms that are moving towards New England. These storms will eventually merge and form one big area of low pressure just off our south coast. This is a classic set-up for a major snowstorm in all of New England. This is not unprecedented by any means and actually there are many text books that explore the formation of these types of coastal storms.
As the storm passes it will be time to clean up. The reality is that even if we break the all-time record for snow in Boston, most of us will still have just a lot of shoveling to do. Sunday will be a clean-up day and Monday folks will return to work and recount their weekend stuck inside during the blizzard. If we do indeed end up with 2 or more feet of snow in places, some schools might be closed Monday while sidewalks are cleared. More on that after the storm.
Gardening this week
This week I wanted to share a video that shows a very unique water garden. This particular water garden contains many different varieties of fish. While you might not have the space for something this elaborate, you can mimic some of the elements on a smaller scale.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com
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