Forecast Upgrade: The Blizzard Of 2018


That snowstorm we spoke of yesterday? Yeah, about that…

We often temper our forecasts with “the effects of the storm are dependent upon the track.” The track seems to be aiming for blizzard conditions for part of Tuesday.

We don’t use the B Word lightly. However, it isn’t that hard to have one. You need winds over 35 MPH, which should be no problemo tomorrow. You also need snow, either of the falling variety or of the blown around type. Once the snow lowers visibility to less than a quarter-mile, you have a Blizz.

We will have that tomorrow, and I expect Blizzard Warnings to be up by the time that I finish writing this.

Let’s check out the impacts, shall we?

Power Outages… Think of how bad the power outages were in the last nor’easter. Imagine 18 inches of snow added to that? Ayup… I’d stock up on candles and firewood.

School Closings… with a blizzard raging, streets impassable and power out… No School, All Schools. Some noteworthy School Is On systems (hello, Duxbury) may hold out, but I wouldn’t bank on it. I think that Wednesday may even be in jeopardy.

Commutes… Tonight’s commute could be spotty if the storm hurries. Tuesday morning’s commute looks good if you have won the Iditarod before.  Tuesday night looks about the same, but darker. Snow, albeit not as heavy, could still be in the picture for both commutes on Wednesday.

Winds… tropical storm force winds will hit the coast. They will be NE for much of Tuesday, especially during the morning high tide. They look to be N/NW for the night tide. These winds will topple trees and empower the surf.

Coastal Flooding… we have astronomically low tides, which will limit damages. However, there should be a 2 foot storm surge and the waves should be impressive. Factor in a crumbling seawall system and what seem to be haphazard quick-fix repair jobs on those seawalls, and the potential is there for some major damage.

Snow… we save the best for last. Here are snowfall predictions from the morning news…

WBZ… 14 to 18 inches for all of eastern Massachusetts, including the Upper Cape. They said some areas around the Canal could surge past 20 inches and approach 2 feet. This puts it in Blizzard of ’78 territory. 10 to 16 inches for the rest of the state,  including the Mid and Outer Cape.

WCVB… 8 to 12 for much of EMass, with the Irish Riviera getting over a foot, with the Outer Cape getting four to eight inches, presumably from rain mixing in. Sorry for that run-on sentence.

WHDH… 14 to 18 inches for Plymouth in Bristol Counties, with the mid/outer Cape getting a 5 to 8 inch mix.

WFXT… 12 to 18 inches (isolated higher amounts, too… Shiri Spear is the only forecaster who uttered the words “two feet” ) for EMass and the Upper Cape, 6 to 12 for the mid and Outer Cape.

Unless it blows out to sea at the last minute,  this will be our last forecast update. After this, it’s all Damage Reports.

Good luck, and stay safe.


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