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iscale web top WBZ AccuWeather iScale

In New England, we are accustomed to measuring each storm by the amount of snow it will drop, but the true measure of a storm should encompass more than just snowfall amounts, it should measure how the upcoming storm is going to IMPACT you.

The WBZ Weather team has designed the iScale, which will help you plan ahead and be better prepared before the first flakes fly.

The iScale values will differ from region to region, since the forecast can vary across our area.

Timing
There is a big difference between snow falling during a commute and snow on the weekends. Therefore, the timing of a storm event is one of the factors we will consider.

Level on iScale:
+1 (for each commute affected)

Precipitation Type
If you have to clear your own driveway, by shovel or by snowblower, you know that a light fluffy snow is a lot easier to take than a heavy, wet, cement-like snowfall. Just a small amount of ice can also wreak havoc on the roadways and on your front steps.

Level on iScale:
+1 for Heavy Cement-like Snow
+1 for Significant Icing

Snowfall Amounts
The dreaded snowfall accumulation map… We have a big range of possibilities here in Southern New England when it comes to snow amounts and here is how they will be broken down.

Level on iScale:
+1 for 6 inches or more of snow or
+2 for 12 inches or more or
+3 for 24 inches or more

Wind & Power Outages
Typically, wind speeds greater than 35mph are going to cause problems no matter what season you are in, many times leading to power outages as well.

Level on iScale:
+1 for Winds of 35mph or greater / Power Outage Potential

Coastal Flooding
Many times this factor alone can be the difference between a minor event or a major one where life and property are at risk.

Level on iScale:
+1 for Minor Coastal Flooding or
+2 Moderate or
+3 Major

Lastly, some storms may add up to more than 4. While that is possible, anything that reaches the level of 4 or higher is going to be a severe event. So 4 is the limit on the iScale, once the numbers add up to 4, it will be classified as severe.