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

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

Share this Blog
37
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 439 - 389

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21Blog Index

The gov. of RI just explained that the "cold air coming out of Canada is mixing with very moist air coming up from Texas" to create a very big storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

NBC Connecticut‏@NBCConnecticut

Gov. Malloy: #FEMA will be in the state tomorrow #Blizzard

2 mNBC Connecticut‏@NBCConnecticut

Gov. Malloy: Possibility that mass transit systems could close tomorrow is likely


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I went outside to get this pic... it's almost dark out there.

The first clouds of the storm of doom are moving in



click on pic for larger size..
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
It will be interesting to see just how much snow will Fall in New England. Model PW outputs look extremely high for a frozen precip event. I would not be surprised if it truly does become historic.

Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7568
NWSBostonNWS Boston 2 h


The latest on the upcoming storm. Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jedkins01:



Academic honesty and accuracy does not necessarily mean the truth, which also doesn't take a PHD, or a college degree to understand, its quite simple. It has nothing to do with honesty or inaccuracy. But I guess common sense isn't so common is it? One either "gets it" or they don't...

What good is knowledge or intelligence without wisdom?
Going into philosophy now? When is what is not the truth is not a lie?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
It's ironic how the most innocent name on The Weather Channel list will end up being one of the worst winter storms in recorded history for New England.

This will easily be a billion dollar disaster, the first in the USA in 2013.
Possibly; there's speculation that the January tornado outbreak/sever weather event may sneak in over the billion-dollar mark, as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting all4hurricanes:
I was in the D.C area for the super snow storms of 2009 10 and 11, I am up in Albany now it looks like we will miss the brunt of it but still we will get a lot of snow maybe more than a foot

at least u get that much
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I was out to get a shovel and the guy at the hardware store said they've sold more shovels and sleds today then they've sold all winter.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ryan Maue‏@RyanMaue

@GregReinhart looks like a good foot or more. Winds of 30-35 mph so maybe a blizzard Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting dabirds:
Wasn't referring to the weather... Aren't you near Riverside?


Oh, Right. That Psycho ex-Cop. Yes I am in Jurupa Valley. which is the North west corner of Riverside County. It used to be Riverside till mid 2011.
Every thing above the Santa Ana river got incorporated as a City.

Jurupa Valley

Map



Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5916
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The Weather Channel‏@weatherchannel

Boston's transit authority will suspend all modes of transportation Friday-- including the T - starting at 3:30pm. #Nemo
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nymore:
Well both states put together are smaller than many counties in the U.S. I would be more impressed if this were not the case. In your neck of the woods, Aroostook County Maine is larger than the two states combined.


very unneeded/irrelevant info...but anyway. People are free to speak
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is basically ordering a shutdown of Boston tomorrow. All schools are recommended to be cancelled, all workers to work at home, and all drivers to not drive. He said there should be no cars on any roads after noon.
I've visited Boston couple of times. It's a huge city to shut down.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The Weather Channel‏@weatherchannel

RT @BostonGlobe: BREAKING: Logan Airport plans to shut operations from early Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon. #Nemo
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I was in the D.C area for the super snow storms of 2009 10 and 11, I am up in Albany now it looks like we will miss the brunt of it but still we will get a lot of snow maybe more than a foot
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting EricSpittle:

This made me think of something: I should be tasked with naming winter storms. We've all heard snowpocalypse and snowmageddon, but I am partial to the seven snowmen of the snowpocalypse, and the snowven plagues myself.


Snowtorious B.I.G.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good evening all! Even though the blizzard is the big event at the moment, I just wanted to note that the NHC has listed Sandy as a cat 3 now on they're summary table. Hope everybody in the northeast stays safe!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Luisport:
Ryan Maue‏@RyanMaue

Bored with current storm -- 6-day forecast from GFS has a good snow dump on Pennsylvania.
Link

Move that patch of heavy snow a little more South and East and I'll be VERY happy
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That map was for precip, in the form of rain/liquid. The snow ratio will depend upon how wet/dry heavy/light the snow is, but estimates are anywhere from a ratio of 10:1 up to 15:1......so, 10-15" of snow, for every 1" of rain, on a standard precip map.



Quoting VR46L:


Its only seems to be showing .5 to .75 inch precip but I am unsure what that turns into as snow . but I guess when recon info is fed into the models there may be a different story .
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ryan Maue‏@RyanMaue

Bored with current storm -- 6-day forecast from GFS has a good snow dump on Pennsylvania.
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Got The Weather Channel livestream up for you guys
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32265
Quoting goosegirl1:


I was just thinking of Snowpocalypse myself. We got 2 24 inch snowfalls back to back, then another 10 inches and a blizzard warning right after. By the time we made paths though the mess with the snow blower, the snow was piled up about 7 or 8 feet on either side of the paths... and I barely top 5'1. I used the paths to walk a short-legged Yorkie, too :) We had to be careful to get lost or buried in a collapse, and that's not a joke. In a nearby town, they had over 8 feet of snow from the three storms. New England, I feel your pain... but not enough to wish I lived there this weekend.

This made me think of something: I should be tasked with naming winter storms. We've all heard snowpocalypse and snowmageddon, but I am partial to the seven snowmen of the snowpocalypse, and the snowven plagues myself.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
PROBABILISTIC HEAVY SNOW AND ICING DISCUSSION

Excerpt:


THE AXIS OF HIGHEST PROBABILITIES REMAINS ACROSS CT/RI INTO
CENTRAL/EASTERN MA TO SOUTHERN NH AND THE ME COAST WHERE A HIGH
RISK FOR A FOOT OR MORE HAS BEEN INDICATED. MULTIPLE RUNS OF THE
SREF AND ECMWF HAVE SHOWN POTENTIAL FOR 2 FEET OF SNOW NEAR
BOSTON...WITH POTENTIAL FOR THIS STORM TO CRACK THE TOP 5 OF ALL
TIME HEAVIEST SNOWFALLS THERE. THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF EMBEDDED
THUNDER SNOW IN EASTERN MA/EASTERN CT/ADJACENT RI BASED ON
DIAGNOSTICS FOR CONDITIONAL SYMMETRIC INSTABILITY SUPPORTING
SLANTWISE VERTICAL MOTION.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Xyrus2000:


I've been through several blizzards since I lived in the New England area most of my life. The blizzard of '93 was always the most impressive one I remembered, until the Snowpocalypse hit here in Maryland. After pushing my door open, I dropped a yardstick onto my front lawn and it went all the way in. The official measurement was 39" for my area, and we didn't even get the highest total.

Looks like this will be Snowpocalypse II.


I was just thinking of Snowpocalypse myself. We got 2 24 inch snowfalls back to back, then another 10 inches and a blizzard warning right after. By the time we made paths though the mess with the snow blower, the snow was piled up about 7 or 8 feet on either side of the paths... and I barely top 5'1. I used the paths to walk a short-legged Yorkie, too :) We had to be careful to get lost or buried in a collapse, and that's not a joke. In a nearby town, they had over 8 feet of snow from the three storms. New England, I feel your pain... but not enough to wish I lived there this weekend.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
if rhode island was really worried about this storm, it could just stick itself on a postage stamp and mail itself to florida.

Quoting nymore:
Well both states put together are smaller than many counties in the U.S. I would be more impressed if this were not the case. In your neck of the woods, Aroostook County Maine is larger than the two states combined.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is basically ordering a shutdown of Boston tomorrow. All schools are recommended to be cancelled, all workers to work at home, and all drivers to not drive. He said there should be no cars on any roads after noon.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32265
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
THE ENTIRE STATES OF CONNECTICUT AND RHODE ISLAND ARE UNDER A BLIZZARD WARNING...not all the time an entire US state is under such conditions
Well both states put together are smaller than many counties in the U.S. I would be more impressed if this were not the case. In your neck of the woods, Aroostook County Maine is larger than the two states combined.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
407. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting JustPlantIt:
Why I was blocked, All about money and not about lives.


So what did you do ???
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 31555
Quoting JustPlantIt:
Why I was blocked, All about money and not about lives.


why do you tell me that?
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting interstatelover7165:
James D. Cantore (born February 16, 1964, in Beacon Falls, Connecticut) Turns out Jim Cantore is from Connecticut. Ironic thing is- they may get THUNDERSNOW!


Im looking for thunder snow...In fact I'll be recording it

Cantore is from Connecticut...I didn't know
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


Why I was blocked, All about money and not about lives.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Ryan Maue‏@RyanMaue

Here's the next storm in the upper-Midwest 991 mb & likely blizzard force. Late Sunday.
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting interstatelover7165:
LOL at TWC headlines: HISTORIC, EXTREME SNOW, YOU MUST PREPARE NOW, HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET?, HISTORIC SNOW TOTALS, FLOOD THREAT AHEAD, and a couple others.


Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
THE ENTIRE STATES OF CONNECTICUT AND RHODE ISLAND ARE UNDER A BLIZZARD WARNING...not all the time an entire US state is under such conditions
James D. Cantore (born February 16, 1964, in Beacon Falls, Connecticut) Turns out Jim Cantore is from Connecticut. Ironic thing is- they may get THUNDERSNOW!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PedleyCA:


Glad I'm on the West Coast --- safe and sound...
Wasn't referring to the weather... Aren't you near Riverside?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


Indeed, I have been thinking about that..not even the blizzard of Dec 2010 had such extreme snow accumulations for my area... 17" of snow from that one.

I am .... no word.

It's the 2nd most impacting storm of my life, behind Sandy


I've been through several blizzards since I lived in the New England area most of my life. The blizzard of '93 was always the most impressive one I remembered, until the Snowpocalypse hit here in Maryland. After pushing my door open, I dropped a yardstick onto my front lawn and it went all the way in. The official measurement was 39" for my area, and we didn't even get the highest total.

Looks like this will be Snowpocalypse II.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It's ironic how the most innocent name on The Weather Channel list will end up being one of the worst winter storms in recorded history for New England.

This will easily be a billion dollar disaster, the first in the USA in 2013.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32265
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


Sandy was 2012..and it bottomed out to 940 mb btw...


Thanks. I thought Nemo looked tighter or really close to Sandy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
LOL at TWC headlines: HISTORIC, EXTREME SNOW, YOU MUST PREPARE NOW, HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET?, HISTORIC SNOW TOTALS, FLOOD THREAT AHEAD, and a couple others.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
THE ENTIRE STATES OF CONNECTICUT AND RHODE ISLAND ARE UNDER A BLIZZARD WARNING...not all the time an entire US state is under such conditions


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
And for the south Florida folks.. http://www.dbgarlicfest.com/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


final next run 00z after 10 pm est
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
THE ENTIRE STATES OF CONNECTICUT AND RHODE ISLAND ARE UNDER A BLIZZARD WARNING...not all the time an entire US state is under such conditions
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 439 - 389

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
58 °F
Overcast