History In the Making…High Impact Storm Will Cause Damage

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce

Winter Storm Warning, High Wind Warning, Coastal Flood Warning…the Warnings are out for a major winter storm for late October. We will be a witness to history in the making today as there has never been a storm of this magnitude, delivering this much wind and snow, this early in the season. It is only late October and we will be seeing one of the more powerful storms in the next 24 hours than we will see all Winter! Really, this thing is going to be a bomb…and from a meteorological perspective…it there anything more exciting than Bombogenesis?

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Bombogenesis is defined as rapid or extreme cyclogenesis of a mid-latitude
cyclone that drops in surface barometric pressure by 24 or more millibars in a 24 hour period. That is exactly where we are heading. High pressure over us this morning with 1024 mb. This time tomorrow,  Our storm will be bombing off the coast with pressure falling to 984 mb! Blizzard Conditions will be felt in the interior overnight. Blizzard– Includes winter storm conditions of sustained winds or frequent gusts of  35 mph or more that cause major blowing and drifting of snow, reducing visibility to less than one-quarter mile for 3 or more hours.  Extremely cold temperatures often are associated with dangerous blizzard conditions.

Close to Hurricane force gusts will be found on the Cape early Sunday morning as the storm pulls away..with peak gusts possibly reaching 70 mph out of the Northwest.

There is plenty of model consensus so we feel confident of it’s potential, track and intensity. The one remaining question remains the warm ocean water of 50-55 degrees and how this will eventually play out for the coast line…especially with the rapid deepening drawing in the cold air tonight into the center of the low…Any shift from the NE to the North could mean higher accumulations at the coast…so there is the potential to be underdone at the coast if the cold air eventually wins out. Still expect no more than a slushy inch or two at the beach. Let’s get to the details as the concerns and impacts of this storm will be far reaching.

 The most significant threat remains tree and power line damage from heavy, wet snow and strong winds.  A secondary threat would be the potential for minor to moderate coastal flooding, particularly during the high tide overnight around 2AM.
 The precipitation arrive late this morning south of the Pike, and push into NH by the mid afternoon hours. Temps will start off mild enough for mainly rain for all of Eastern Massachusetts, a wet snowy mix in higher elevations to the west. High pressure to our north will drain the cool air into New England through the day. Rain and snow will become heavy by late in the afternoon. The rain/snow line will collapse to the south and east as colder air is drawn into the deepening storm on shifting winds to the north. By midnight it will be snowing just about everywhere with the exception of southeastern MA where it will continue to rain very heavily. The rain/snow line will collapse further southeast to around the Cape Cod Canal in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning before the storm system pulls away and the precipitation shuts off just after dawn.
Snow:  Water temps will be a huge factor here where at the beaches perhaps an inch or two of wet slush…but just a mile or two inland in Cambridge or Brighton, Newton totals will ramp up quickly to 3-5″ to 128. Heading to 495 totals should range from 6-12″ is likely in a wide area of Southern New England including most of Western Middlesex County, all of Worcester County and all of Western MA and SW New Hampshire with the Higher amounts outside of 495.  The jackpot for snow amounts will be in the higher elevations (1,000ft and up) where a foot or more is possible
  The wildcard with this storm is the timing of the change from rain to snow along the coast and in the nearby suburbs…if it occurs just a few hours early, amounts could easily increase in the Boston Metro area..especially with the power of this storm. Snow will be a very heavy and wet consistency, compacting quickly keeping accumulations lower…but also weighing down on tree limbs and wires . Would not be shocked to see 1-2″ per hour snow, some thundersnow and even blizzard conditions for a time tonight. Wow.
Rain: Areas southeast of Boston and Providence will receive very heavy rainfall, many towns exceeding 2”. This will result in urban and poor drainage flooding and cause many rivers and streams to rise near bankful.
Wind: Winds will be out of the NE early in the storm gusting 25-50mph+ along the coastline and 25-35mph inland by late afternoon.  Winds will shift to a more northerly direction later in the evening and at night and continue very strong, especially over Cape Cod and The Islands and the coast. Gusts to 50-60 mph at the coast by Midnight. This will pose a significant problem coupled with the heavy, wet snow and lots of foliage still on the trees. Tree and limb damage is almost certain and numerous power outages are expected.
With wet saturated soil, winds will blow the trees back & forth with the potential for trees to topple. Winds aloft by dawn Sunday will be rip roaring behind our storm as it heads into the Gulf of Maine. 75 kt winds will be mixing down with the departing storm for a second round of wind for the coast in the early morning from the NW with gusts over 60 mph for the Cape & islands. Wind damage and impact form this storm could exceed that from Tropical storm Irene.

Coastal Flooding: The storm is coming during a new moon phase and very high astronomical tides. The good news the worst of the storm will not be happening on the highest of tides.  One of the highest tides of the year is High tides is at 1:30PM today…minor flooding is possible at this time. 
 But the High tide 2:00AM Sunday morning will be no slouch and is the one we have to watch out for…While this tide is a bit lower astronomically speaking, 10-20 foot seas just offshore and powerful winds will cause pockets of moderate flooding at the coast.  Moderate coastal flooding is  likely from Revere to Scituate, to Sandwich and Chatham in flood prone areas. Significant beach erosion, road closures and flooded basements.  This tide will come with a 2-3 foot surge.  Coastal Flood warning for 11pm and 5am.  

Clouds, wind and snow will hang around at the coast through Sunday morning. High pressure builds in for the afternoon with clearing skies. Strong NW in place all day with gust to 40-45…winds will slowly slacken by afternoon.

Kids will be trick or treating under a partly cloudy sky with snow on the ground this year adding to the chill. The Kids may want to wear boots this year to keep their feet dry. Temps will start in the Lwr 40’s at sunset and fall into the 30’s

  • shotime

    The kids may be wearing boots, or maybe even staying home in some areas if power lines and trees are down everywhere. I sure hope it isn’t that bad but it seem that everyone, includng NOAA are on board for a big impact storm! Stay safe!

    • Italo

      Why are kids and families doing Halloween on a Saturday night? Are they doing it tonight because it’s a Saturday close to Halloween’s actual date, and then they won’t be doing it on actual Halloween night because it’s a work and school night this year? Talk about taking all the fun of it out for the kids — if the parents produced kids, then the kids deserve to enjoy trick or treating with them on the night it actually happens. Every holiday is becoming reinterpreted and rescheduled nowadays. :(

  • David White

    This is not unlike the Portland Gale which occurred in late November,1898, or the powerful storm which happened two days after Thanksgiving, 1950. Interesting that they happened on the home stretch of the hurricane season, as this one is, though a month earlier.

  • AceMaster

    Welcome! Always good to see weather enthusiasts at any age.

  • JimmyJames

    Thanks Joe. I think this storm will have some surprises with it.

  • hadi

    Thanks Joe!! Great analysis as always! Let’s see what our evening gives us.

  • lindaD

    Can always count of Joe to really kick the hype into high gear. When I read the headline I knew who wrote it.

  • ELaw

    In the last couple of hours, NWS forecast for Wilmington has gone from 5-7″ of snow to less than 1/2″! Anyone got any thoughts on this?

  • Bombogenesis

    Joe, you must be wetting your pants over this one

  • matt souza

    areas inside eastof i95 will see less than 2 inches this also includes soutehast mass.
    areas between 128 and 495 will see a quick increase from 2- as much as 8 inches
    outside of 495 will see 7-14 inches higher amounts north of rt 2

  • steve

    This is an absolute gafe by the wbz mets,the ocean temps will keep ares inside 128 all rain for most of the night with a little change over towards dawn.where is joe joyce right now? i would like to hear him update his historic and dangerous event

  • JWM

    I don’t like the soud of that thunder snow. At least it will be late at night. Last time we had thunder snow, traffic came to a standstill.

    • MWJ

      Need to lean the JJoyce always goes weigh overboard on any sort of big storm be it snow or hurricane. He’s all about the gloom and doom.

  • BaileyMan

    i think this storm misses us completely

  • shotime

    32 degrees and just starting to snow in Brighton. Seem much earlier than forecasted

  • Pete Bouchard

    It’s gotten eerily dark out in the past hour here in Boston.. wondering if that means the rain will switch over soon

  • John F

    iIt is beginning to switch from rain to snow in Mansfield,Ma.. Is that earlier then anticipated ?

  • john f

    whats with the big dry slot moving in???

  • john f

    whats with the big dry slot moving in???

  • john

    big dry slot moving up from the south coast. whats up with that ??

    • Gail

      Hey why don’t you ask about that dry slot one more time? Maybe someone will answer you.

  • tj

    Hey Hadi, Can you check on it for me as well. thanks

  • shotime

    At 6:53 pm NOAA issued a WSW for Gloucester, Boston and Quincy 4-6″ until 8am Sunday

  • truth be told

    What hype…”60 million will be affected”…”massive tree damage”…”millions iwll be without power”…this isn’t a third world cess pool…since when does a 2-12″ snow storm ever casue these issues? Get a life mets…and thanks for causing the long line at Market Basket today…I actually needed stuff.

    • coach23

      Was just there now. Place is empty. Best time to shop is during a snowstorm!

      • truth be told

        HAHA. Good call coach23…in HS I did the classic after-school at the food store and these storms drove me nuts. All people do is buy perishables (milk, eggs) that will go bad once the power is lost…HAHA.

  • coach23

    So why does Channel 4 show current conditions to be RAIN and the pic is obviously of snow?????? Someone’s asleep over there.

  • David White

    Thanks Joe for your good forecasting, and thanks everyone for your comments and observations.

  • KWM-Hingham

    Hadi…posted to the new blog today but it appears its still up for moderation. Anything you could do to help here too would be appreciated.

    BTW still raining here in Hingham. The wind is picking up.

    • Hadi

      Hang in there! It will get approved soon.

      • KWM-Hingham

        Thank you. Just another quick note that a few radio and TV stations in CT have gone off the air due to the storm. WILI was one of them earlier in the day.

  • Matt Souza

    best chance to see power outages is in northeast mass where it snows. do to the close ness to the center and the fact that the area could get the same amount of snow that centeral and western areas got . stronger winds in eastern mass. and the same amount of snow equals more power outages.

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