The storm is now located to our south off the coast of Nantucket and continues to move northward. The map above shows the axis of the heaviest bands of snow as predicted through 4 AM. I still expect the heaviest snow to occur from now until about that time. Until then, 6 to 12 inches of additional snow should fall across much of southern New England with isolated higher amounts .
Winds will continue to be strong and there will be power issues through the night and continuing into the first part of Saturday morning. After 7AM, I expect much lighter snow with an additional 1 to 3 inches of snow by noon. When all is said and done the state will be blanketed by as much as 30 inches of snow in those areas that saw the heaviest bands and thunderstorms. Most total amounts will fall in the 14-22 inch range statewide. In storms like this, there are always spots that fall out of the range either too high or too low. I’ll continue to send out updated on Twitter at @growingwisdom and please send me your snow reports there.
High tide occurred around 9 PM tonight with some moderate coastal flooding. Our next high tide is approximately 10 AM Saturday. Coastal flooding will be an issue once again during that morning tide tide. Right now, we have not seen major coastal damage, but the situation will need to be monitored through the next tide cycle. The map below shows which part of the coast is vulnerable Saturday.
How much snow?
Below is my map of snowfall accumulations. By now you have seen how the bands have rotated through the area during the night. As the bands move through an area they can leave 9 or 10 inches of snow in just a few hours. This is one of the reason why snowfall ranges are necessary in these storms. It appears that the heaviest accumulation will end up from around Hartford to north of Providence and southwest of Boston.
Those of you that experienced the most thunder and most intense bands saw snow that was about as heavy as we have seen here in New England. This is the type of accumulation rates they have in the Rocky Mountains!
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 the rest of the night, most of us should keep our power through the storm. However, coastal towns have seen widespread power issues from the heavy wet snow and stronger winds. The number of homes without power looks to reach close to or exceed 250 thousand for a while. I still don’t expect this storm to rival the power outages we saw 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.
Our two storms have now merged into one large low pressure area southeast of Nantucket. The storm is a well developed system with an eye-like structure in the center. The same sort of development has taken place with other noteworthy storms that have effected New England.
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. Some southern and central New England cities and towns will mark this blizzard as one of the top snow makers in recorded history.
As the storm passes it will be time to clean up. The reality is that even if we did 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. Since some places are going to hit the two foot mark,a few 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