French Toast Alert!

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

I know what you are thinking…”What is this?!”  That was my reaction when I first heard of this Boston catch phrase that is spreading through the blogosphere.

It is a rating scale for winter storms similar to the color scale Homeland Security uses for its state of awareness. uses this “French Toast Alert System” to warn its users of the impending doom of a coming snow storm in a cute light hearted  way.

Yesterday, while helping to teach some youngsters at Young Broadcasters of America, I had the honor to alert the public that were are in a state of French Toast alert! Silly I know…but fun anyway. Enjoy!

Video provided by Steve Garfield of

  • Anna

    Kelly Ripa said this on Live with Regis and Kelly. I thought it was really funny.

  • Magster

    The changes to totals are making me crazy! It’s now in 24 hour range: How much snow is East Boston (where I work) and Melrose (where I live) getting today and tomorrow??!! Somebody!? THANKS!!!!!!

    • Joe

      A BLEEP LOAD!!!!

    • BalloonKnot


      The world rotates and revolves around you. We are all concerned about forecasting the weather just so you’re happy.

      Here’s a hint. Look at the map.

      • Magster

        HA BK! Come on’ ! Play nice! I was just asking for local prediction. Others seem to post them left and right….but just not in my area. I was just curious. I was totally fine with no one responding……I was just putting it out there. I enjoy reading the weather bloggers comments (the insult, not so much…HA!).

  • Sam Hates Snow

    More like Armageddon

    Joe or any of the weather wiz bloggers: You gents/ladies see any changes in this pattern soon, I mean next 2-3 weeks, and also how this pattern is can hold for so long and what is causing it.

    • TBone

      From what I’ve heard, the pattern we’re in is a combination of la Nina and a strong Greenland block. La Nina is going to stick around for a while, but the Greenland block may ease up a bit in the coming weeks. We’ll probably get at least a couple more storms in before the pattern changes significantly, though. Forecasters already have their eyes on a messy storm this Saturday and yet another one on Tuesday.

  • James

    Hi Joe Joyce loved the video
    So joe what is the latest. Is it a colder storm again this morniing? the 2nd one i mean? Do you agree with Bailey man about 14 to 20 in boston and west too? or rex/ryan alot of sleet and rain so less than 14 everywhere and maybe only 10 just wondering your thinking joe?

  • StanleyACED

    what u think for central ma areas Joe J? thanks

    • BalloonKnot

      Hey Stan… look at the map. That’s what it’s there for.

  • zippydoo

    Bailey M is Todd G!!!!!!!

    • Sam Hates Snow

      You know, I thought that was him, iI used to see him at Sudbury Farm at Sudbury sometimes, but have not seen him for a while, no wonder he is so expert in the weather and blogs well.

  • retrac

    only 10 degrees at worcester airport. high ratio stuff. we might get more in this first batch than second if sleet comes in.


    end of the month/beginning of march we’re likely in for a pettern change.

    even if it stays seasonably cold, sun angle will be much higher and will start doing some damage to the white ocean out there

    • James

      retrac so you disagree with bm and you think sleet mixes in north of route 90 or what?

      • retrac


        No..but I’m cautious…I’m basically copping out on this one. Lame right. I just keep seeing the 850mb temps at 0c for worcester which means there is no margin for error. NWS comments about lift keeping things cool for a while are settling me down a bit but low end totals are definately in the cards still.

        One thing….we’re at 15:1 or better ratios right now. .50 liquid is predicted for this first batch so I think we’re in for maybe 10+ in worcester front end. Worst case for the rest is 5″ of snow, sleet junk. Still think 15″ is a safe low end.

    • jack

      “in March the pattern will change:” Yeah, and the 4th of July it will be warm too!!

      • retrac

        I know right. I tell myself about march every year.

        The sun will feel better though at a minimum. (providing it’s not snowing and it’s out!)

        Seriously though, patterns need to balance themselves out and when it breaks, it’s going to be much different around here obviously. I just think it’ll come in march this year instead of april. no science….just a hunch

  • joejoycewbz

    I am concerned with sleet keeping totals down tomorrow afternoon along and south of the Pike. I agree mostly with what we have been saying on WBZ TV

    Storm #1:
    Start Time: 6-9am Tuesday
    End Time: 6-9pm Tuesday
    Precip Type: All snow from Plymouth to Providence northward, Sleet Southeast MA afternoon, some mix/rain South Coast and Cape Cod

    Snow Amounts: A widespread 5-8″ of snow from Boston north and west…3-6” south of Boston to Plymouth…1-3” south of Plymouth to Cape

    Commute(s) affected: latter half of Tuesday AM…All of Tuesday Evening

    Storm #2:
    Start Time: 4-6am Wednesday
    End Time: 5-8pm Wednesday…lighter snow may continue through midnight but just an inch or so accumulation

    Precip Type: Mainly snow north of Rt 2…Snow and sleety Mix Near and just South of Pike…Icy Mix in N. CT and N. RI . From Plymouth southward to Cape Cod a change to rain

    Snow Amounts: 8-12″ North Mass Pike…10″-15″ in Northern Mass (N. Worcester, N. Middlesex and Essex and S. NH..6-9″ Near & South of Boston…3-6″ South Shore to Plymouth…1-3” South Plymouth to Canal.

    Jackpot S. VT and SW NH total 24+”..Mt Snow and Sunapee.

    • TBone

      Thanks for keeping us updated, Joe. Think there’ll be another French Toast Alert on Friday for the weekend’s storm? :)

    • James

      joe you are only saying 8 to 12 totals for both storms north of pike????????? that seems much too low. We might get that today

  • joejoycewbz

    I was anxious posting this video…The devil made me do it.

  • kat

    I luv ya Joe, but some things are better not shared! lol…although, it is refreshing that you don’t take yourself too seriously!



  • Janmar

    If you are a met and take yourself too seriously…….you are in trouble in NE :>)

  • shotime

    Great video Joe Joyce! KUDOS to Young Broadcasters!!!

  • WesternMA

    Heavy Snow in Springfield, MA, Joe how much snow does Springfield, MA get being just a few miles south of the pike?

  • joejoycewbz

    Not my favorite moment for sure…it was a favor for Universalhub…but if it can bring a smile to to few faces this morning…the little embarrasment I am feeling is well worth it!

  • StanleyACED

    I think north of pike at least 16 inches total maybe up to 2 feet

  • Uncover

    Heavy snow in Dedham, already over an inch on the ground

  • joejoycewbz

    Hard to communicate everything…that 8-12 for North of the Pike is for round 2 tomorrow. Sorry for any confusion.

    2 Day Storm Totals:
    18-24+” S. VT, SW NH
    15-20″ SNH, S. ME, N. MA…North of Rt 2
    8-14″ Springfield, Worcester, Boston
    5-10″ Hartford, Providence with Sleet & Ice
    3-6″ Plymouth to the Canal

    Hope that Helps! Be safe!

    • Go For Snow

      Joe the Math doesn’t add up…5-8 and 8-12 = 13-20 north of Pike not 8-14

  • itoldyouso

    i live in Barre MAss , 20 miles nw or worcester , what can i expect on weds storm ?

    • BalloonKnot

      I’d say you’re looking at snow. Yeah, probably some snow.

  • rainshine

    Joe, thanks for the great blog. As soon as I saw “French Toast Alert” I did smile. I used to read Universalhub a few yrs. ago. Recognized the term French Toast right away.

    I guess we have no choice but to grin and bear this weather – our real concern is if we get any serious warmups or rain – could cause major flooding. Hopefully, all this snow will melt gradually.

  • coastal

    Snowing at a good clip in Dorchester.

  • JimmyJames

    For the two storms combinded I am going with a 3 for the Pike North which is a MAJOR Snowfall. Areas south of the Pike I am going with a 2 which is a MODERATE Snowfall because I think that is where the mixing will happen.

  • 71Bic

    Joe, wonder if you can answer this question. Why do Mets around here always say “such and such S&E of the city’ and “such and such N&W” of the city. Eastern/Central Essex county doesn’t fall into either of those (It’s north but not west). And a decent chunk of southern Worcester county doesn’t fall into that area either (West but South also)

  • metking

    mets arent calling for much snow in town tmr lets see what the morning nam has in store

  • itoldyouso

    when do the next computer models come out ?

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