Historic Nor'easter poised to slam Boston and the Northeast U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:43 PM GMT on February 07, 2013

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A potentially historic Nor'easter is brewing for the Northeast U.S., where blizzard watches are up for much of eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The storm, dubbed "Nemo" by the Weather Channel, is expected to bring heavy snows of 1 - 2 feet, coastal wind gusts over hurricane force, and moderate to major coastal flooding. During the peak of the storm, Friday night into Saturday morning, snowfall rates of 2 - 3" per hour can be expected. These intense bursts of snow may be accompanied by lightning and thunder. The cites of Boston, Hartford, Providence, Portland, and Burlington are all likely to get more than a foot of snow, and two feet of snow will probably fall along a swath from the western suburbs of Boston to Southwest Maine. With the Nor'easter generating these heavy snows expected to bomb out with a central pressure of 972 - 976 mb, the rapid flow of air around this low pressure center will generate ferocious sustained winds near 50 mph at the coast, with wind gusts in excess of hurricane force--74 mph. The combination of heavy snow and high winds will make travel extremely dangerous or impossible, with near-zero visibility in white-out conditions. Total snowfall from the storm is likely to rank in the top ten for Boston since weather observations began at Logan Airport in 1936. According to NWS, here are the top snowstorms since 1936 for Logan Airport:

1. February 17-18, 2003 27.5"
2. February 6-7, 1978 27.1"
3. February 24-27, 1969 26.3"
4. March 31-April 1, 1997 25.4"
5. January 22-24, 1945 22.8"
6. January 22-23, 2005 22.5"
7. January 20-21, 1978 21.4"
8. March 3-5, 1960 19.8"
9. February 16-17, 1958 19.4"
10. February 8-10, 1994 18.7"
11. January 7-8, 1996 18.2"
11. December 20-22, 1975 18.2"
11. December 26-27, 2010 18.2"


Figure 1. Predicted wind speeds in knots at 7 am EST Saturday, February 9, 2013, from the 00Z February 7, 2013 run of the European (ECMWF) model. The model is predicting sustained winds of 50 knots (57.5 mph) will affect Cape Cod and Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Multiply by 1.15 to convert knots to mph.

Serious coastal flooding expected in Massachusetts
The high winds from the storm will drive a damaging storm surge of 2 - 4' along the coast of Eastern Massachusetts Friday night and Saturday morning. Of particular concern is the flooding that will occur during the Saturday morning high tide cycle, as that is the time of the new moon, which will bring the highest tide of the month. The ocean's height in Boston varies naturally by about ten feet between low tide and high tide, so it matters greatly when the storm surge arrives, relative to the tidal cycle. Thus we speak of the "storm tide"--how how the water gets above the high tide mark, due to the combination of the storm surge and the tide. During Hurricane Sandy, on October 29, 2012, a potentially very damaging storm surge of 4.57' hit Boston, but arrived near low tide, so the water level during the peak surge did not rise above the normal high tide mark. As of noon EST on February 7, 2013, the latest storm surge forecast from the GFS model is calling for a storm tide of about 3.4' above high tide (MHHW, Mean Higher High Water) on Saturday morning, which would cause only minor flooding in Boston. This would be the 10th highest water level on record in Boston since tide gauge records began in 1921. According to former NHC storm surge expert Mike Lowry, who now works for TWC, the official top 5 storm tides at the Boston tide gauge, relative to MHHW, are:

1. 4.82' - February 7, 1978 (Blizzard of 1978)
2. 3.92' - January 2, 1987
3. 3.86' - October 30, 1991 (Perfect Storm)
4. 3.76' - January 28, 1979
5. 3.75' - December 12, 1992

More serious flooding is expected in Cape Cod Bay to the southeast of Boston, where the northeast winds from the storm will pile up a higher storm surge. A storm surge of 3 - 4' is predicted from Scituate to Sandwich Harbor Saturday morning. The surge will be accompanied by battering waves 20' feet high, and major flooding and coastal erosion is expected. Major coastal flooding is also expected on the east end of Nantucket Island.


Figure 2. Coastal flooding hazards during the high tide cycle on Saturday morning, February 9, 2013, as predicted at 12 pm EDT Thursday, February 7, 2013, by the NWS Boston.

Links:

Our news page
http://www.wunderground.com/news/

Our winter Storm page:
http://www.wunderground.com/winter-storm/nemo-2013.asp

Jeff Masters

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nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
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sorry for delay little slow updating
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
Gonna get back to work. Later guys. Good Night.
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The snow isn't coming down that heavy here. It's mostly the persistence of the snow that will lead to totals over one foot. The rate is increasing though.
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Hey look! Almost no snow for me!
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nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
sim_reflectivity

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
sim_reflectivity

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
sim_reflectivity

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
sim_reflectivity

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
Quoting scott39:
Hi all, What happened to winter on the Gulf coast??
Oh, we had a couple of days of it.
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nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
sim_reflectivity

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
So it begins.


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0122
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0822 PM CST THU FEB 07 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...PARTS OF SRN/ERN LOWER MICHIGAN

CONCERNING...HEAVY SNOW

VALID 080222Z - 080515Z

SUMMARY...A 3-4 HOUR PERIOD OF HEAVY SNOW...AT RATES AROUND OR IN
EXCESS OF 1 INCH PER HOUR...APPEARS INCREASINGLY LIKELY LATE THIS
EVENING INTO THE OVERNIGHT HOURS ACROSS PARTS OF SOUTH CENTRAL
MICHIGAN INTO THE MICHIGAN THUMB.

DISCUSSION...IN CONJUNCTION WITH A SURFACE FRONTAL WAVE...AND AHEAD
OF A SIGNIFICANT SHORT WAVE TROUGH...NOW TURNING EASTWARD ACROSS THE
UPPER MIDWEST...A SHIELD OF PRECIPITATION CONTINUES TO SPREAD
EASTWARD THROUGH SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE GREAT LAKES REGION.
PRECIPITATION RATES APPEAR TO BE IN THE PROCESS OF INCREASING ACROSS
SOUTHWESTERN LOWER MICHIGAN...IN CONJUNCTION WITH EXPANDING
COLDER...AND COOLING...CLOUD TOPS. MODELS SUGGEST THIS IS
COINCIDING WITH LOWER/MID TROPOSPHERIC FRONTOGENETIC FORCING...WHICH
IS FORECAST TO STRENGTHEN WITHIN A BAND ROUGHLY CENTERED ACROSS THE
LANSING AND FLINT AREAS...INTO THE MICHIGAN THUMB...MOSTLY TO THE
NORTHWEST OF THE DETROIT METROPOLITAN AREA...BETWEEN NOW AND 06-09Z.
AS LIFT BECOMES MAXIMIZED WITHIN THE LAYER WITH TEMPERATURES
FAVORABLE FOR DENDRITIC ICE CRYSTAL GROWTH...AND LOW-LEVELS
SATURATE...WITH TEMPERATURE PROFILES ALREADY GENERALLY NEAR/BELOW
FREEZING...SNOW RATES IN EXCESS OF 1 INCH PER HOUR APPEAR INCREASING
LIKELY ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL LOWER MICHIGAN BY 03-05Z...BEFORE
DEVELOPING EAST NORTHEASTWARD OVERNIGHT.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
sim_reflectivity

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
"I demand one or two hurricanes strike my area, or at least areas nearby. I have plans to quit Walmart and go chase this summer, and the season better not disappoint."
-KoriTheMan

Maybe a Central American year.
-AllanCalderini

From My Blog
From yesterday...

LOL Kori, is that supposed to be sarcasm?

And yeah, definitely could have some Central American storms like Ernesto, last year.



All I can say is I don't think I'm ready for another Hurricane Beta, so let's hope the current setup changes and we don't have a 2005 repeat.
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nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
sim_reflectivity

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
nam-hires namer
20130208 00 UTC
sim_reflectivity

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
The 0z NAM literally put close to 4 feet of snow near NYC, with about 36" for most of MA and RI.



that would likey shut down new York for days if that happen
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115080
I havent seen long stretches of above average temps in Mobile like this, in the 34 years that i have lived here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"I demand one or two hurricanes strike my area, or at least areas nearby. I have plans to quit Walmart and go chase this summer, and the season better not disappoint."
-KoriTheMan




LOL carful what you wish for you may get it
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115080
The 0z NAM literally put close to 4 feet of snow near NYC, with about 36" for most of MA and RI.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7779
"I demand one or two hurricanes strike my area, or at least areas nearby. I have plans to quit Walmart and go chase this summer, and the season better not disappoint."
-KoriTheMan

Maybe a Central American year.
-AllanCalderini

From My Blog
From yesterday...

LOL Kori, is that supposed to be sarcasm?

And yeah, definitely could have some Central American storms like Ernesto, last year.
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Quoting Walshy:


Boone, North Carolina has 2-3 inches of snow on the ground already. Heavier amounts in the higher elevations but no major snow expected here.

I did say mostly, not 100%. I see that there is some accumulations in the higher elevations in NC, but I don't have time to go update everything just for that.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
Hi all, What happened to winter on the Gulf coast??
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NAM is farther west and NYC/NJ get CRUSHED with 30-40 inches. Pretty unrealistic if you ask me. #LOLNAM

www.instantweathermaps.com/NAM-php/showmap-conuss fc.php?run=2013020800&time=PER&var=ASNOWI&hour=036
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8007
This is going to get crazy fast tomorrow evening.

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Should be wet here soon.

Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5803
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Good evening everyone. I see the Nor'Easter has progressed more, 30-40" of Snow sure is a bunch even for up north, stay safe guys!
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well good night folks, its going to be a lonnnng posting day tomorrow i bet..stay safe everyone
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



We are such nerds!




thanks




sould I put on a dress
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115080
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
0z NAM:

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COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
220 PM EST THU FEB 7 2013

...COASTAL FLOOD WARNING FOR THE MASSACHUSETTS EAST FACING
COASTLINE AROUND THE TIME OF THE FRIDAY EVENING AND SATURDAY
MORNING HIGH TIDES...

.A POWERFUL COASTAL STORM WILL PRODUCE MODERATE COASTAL FLOODING
FRIDAY EVENING AND MODERATE TO MAJOR COASTAL FLOODING SATURDAY
MORNING ALONG WITH POTENTIALLY SEVERE EROSION. LARGE WAVES
COMBINED WITH A 2 TO 3 FOOT STORM SURGE MAY CAUSE A NUMBER OF
VULNERABLE SHORE ROADS TO BECOME IMPASSABLE FOR A WHILE...AND
MAY CAUSE DAMAGE TO HOMES ALONG THE IMMEDIATE SHORELINE DURING
THE SATURDAY MORNING HIGH TIDE.

MAZ007-015-016-019-022>024-080330-
/O.NEW.KBOX.CF.W.0001.130209T0100Z-130209T1700Z/
/O.EXT.KBOX.CF.A.0001.130209T1700Z-130209T1800Z/
EASTERN ESSEX MA-SUFFOLK MA-EASTERN NORFOLK MA-
EASTERN PLYMOUTH MA-BARNSTABLE MA-DUKES MA-NANTUCKET MA-
220 PM EST THU FEB 7 2013

...COASTAL FLOOD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM FRIDAY TO NOON EST
SATURDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON HAS ISSUED A COASTAL
FLOOD WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM FRIDAY TO NOON EST
SATURDAY.

* LOCATION...EAST FACING COASTLINE OF MASSACHUSETTS

* COASTAL FLOODING...MODERATE COASTAL FLOODING IS LIKELY FOR THE
FRIDAY EVENING HIGH TIDE AND MODERATE TO MAJOR COASTAL FLOODING
IS LIKELY FOR THE SATURDAY MORNING HIGH TIDE...WITH THE MOST
SEVERE IMPACT EXPECTED ALONG EAST AND NORTH FACING SHORELINES
SOUTH OF BOSTON.

* TIMING...FRIDAY EVENING AND SATURDAY MORNING HIGH TIDES

* IMPACTS...A NUMBER OF SHORE ROADS WILL LIKELY BECOME IMPASSABLE
FOR A TIME FRIDAY EVENING. COASTAL FLOODING AROUND THE SATURDAY
MORNING HIGH TIDE WILL LIKELY CAUSE NUMEROUS SHORE ROADS TO
BECOME IMPASSABLE AND PUT SOME STRUCTURES AT RISK ALONG THE
IMMEDIATE SHORE...ESPECIALLY THOSE VULNERABLE LOCATIONS SOUTH OF
BOSTON FROM HULL TO SANDWICH. SEVERE BEACH EROSION WILL ALSO
OCCUR...ESPECIALLY DURING THE SATURDAY MORNING HIGH TIDE.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
Quoting HarryMc:


Goose bumps here. Not kidding.



We are such nerds!
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 563
Quoting wxchaser97:
I made these earlier in the afternoon, they still mostly reflect my thinking.


Boone, North Carolina has 2-3 inches of snow on the ground already. Heavier amounts in the higher elevations but no major snow expected here.
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Leading edge is getting closer to DC now........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
NC is really getting the rains now huh..........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
heading right for ft meyers,alot of lightning too..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
Quoting GTcooliebai:
This would be epic for sure.

well GT if that does happen, then the Nam wasnt that far off the mark..i see that spot with 40 inches..omg, i hope its wrong.
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Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Strong thunderstorm approaching towards Florida from the west:

Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting LargoFl:
yes its going to be a bad storm up there..they may very well cancel the show, i heard alot of schools etc will be closed,most people will take tomorrow off work i bet


This is the premier show of the year for the US, like Crufts is to England. It's never been cancelled that I know. I tried to google it and couldn't find anything of it being cancelled. Saturday and Sunday are filled with Specialties, dog shows for just one breed. The Specialties are going to have a lot of absent entries.
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to me its not just the snowfall amounts that are important..its the high winds...remember..its a Nor'easter coming, and we all know how bad those can be huh..and..its going to hang around for a long while,over 12 hours or more..the drifting wind blown snow is going to close all the roads etc, with those winds and the heavy snow and they say some Ice as well..you know there are going to be power outages...not a very nice couple of days coming up there..stay safe everyone
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
People better take this storm seriously!
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.