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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Quoting TheGreatHodag:
Any chance the snow sneaks into DC either from this storm or next week's?
...you have a slight chance at 180 hours..doesnt look too good
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
Quoting VR46L:


The NCEP Chart sure doesnt predict those totals

Loop Embedded


Probably just my work computer, but I can't get that to load. What are your thoughts? I'm sure you know better how to read those maps than I. So far my best guestimate has been ~5 inches for most of the Broome County region.
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almost to me..man we need this rain............
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
Any chance the snow sneaks into DC either from this storm or next week's?
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18Z NAM for 6 hour precip







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18z NAM




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wanna Laugh?..this time next week.............
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
my worst fear is now a reality.... over 2' for my area
I'm near Danbury...20"+ now. Are you in Litchfield or Fairfield. I had you pinpointed for Ct...
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Quoting Doppler22:

I wish i wuld get two feet here -_-


My local news station's future forecast has 3' possible in much of New Hampshire, Southeast Maine and part of Massachusetts... and they have 3-6" for me
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My guess is..everyone in the northeast should..be preparing for a 2 foot blizzard..every few hours the snowfall totals are being upped..dont get caught off guard..stay safe up there..as of now there is still some uncertainty on exactly where and how close the nor'easter will be to the shoreline....now what happens if..it crashes directly into NYC itself?..just a guess question on my part..but..if that did happen..the inland snowfall totals would go way up huh....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
my worst fear is now a reality.... over 2' for my area

I wish i wuld get two feet here -_-
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my worst fear is now a reality.... over 2' for my area
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Mayor of Boston has declared a Snow Emergency
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Just realized All of MA is now under a Winter Storm Warning/Blizzard Warning.
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Afternoon everyone, NYC is now under a blizzard warning. My cousin, who went through Sandy, is now going to be dealing with blizzard conditions. I'm under a winter weather advisory for 4-7" of snow and my city has already declared a snow emergency(no cars parked on roadways).
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
324. VR46L
Quoting EricSpittle:
I'm wondering where the Weather Channel is pulling their storm totals from. The official NWS map (Link) has me at 4-6, and weatherchannel (Link) has me at 12-18.


The NCEP Chart sure doesnt predict those totals

Loop Embedded

Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6998
Quoting Neapolitan:
Well, sure. The 6-10 day outlook has changed, but once you understand that the outlook encompasses a rolling five-day period that's always six days off, you realize how odd it would be if it didn't change.
However, when the 8-14 day map back then showed warmer, and now the 6-10 shows cooler, it means a significant forecast pattern shift within the timeframe, not just elapsed time.
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Not good at all...48 hours and still there.......
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
so they are upping the inland snowfall totals..maybe the nor'easter is gonna come closer to shore?..we'll see tomorrow AM huh..i'll put on a double pot of blog coffee for y'all..think we are going to need it lol
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
Quoting AGWcreationists:
Didn't those maps show warmer than expected temps just 2-3 days ago?
Well, sure. The 6-10 day outlook has changed, but once you understand that the outlook encompasses a rolling five-day period that's always six days off, you realize how odd it would be if it didn't change.
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I'm wondering where the Weather Channel is pulling their storm totals from. The official NWS map (Link) has me at 4-6, and weatherchannel (Link) has me at 12-18.
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Quoting aspectre:
198 Jedkins01: Right, because Almighty scientists never have an ideology, they are always 100% truthful, and they don't have the same human nature as anyone else.

Nope. Rather because they can't get away with lying... not for long. Because nearly all scientists LOVE to catch errors in others' work. And provide alternative interpretations of that work if there are no errors.
That's how ya get street cred in the sciences ifn ya ain't of GENIUS caliber. And even if you are of GENIUS caliber, your merely genius and merely smart peers would LOVE to TopGun ya... on any point.


Exactly. Check out "Retraction Watch" where almost gleeful accounts of retractions due to falsifying data is reported. Also the punishment is reported. Everything from retraction of the paper for using non-sourced photos to loss of grant for x years for more egregious behavior. Today someone in Germany had their PhD revoked because of barely changed wording and not citing the original work. Top Gunning through the internet is getting more pervasive.
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Quoting interstatelover7165:
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY
355 PM EST THU FEB 7 2013

...MAJOR WINTER STORM TO IMPACT THE TRI-STATE AREA FRIDAY INTO
SATURDAY...

CTZ005-009-080500-
/O.UPG.KOKX.WS.A.0001.130208T1800Z-130209T1800Z/
/O.NEW.KOKX.BZ.W.0001.130208T1100Z-130209T1800Z/
NORTHERN FAIRFIELD-SOUTHERN FAIRFIELD-
355 PM EST THU FEB 7 2013

...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM FRIDAY TO 1 PM EST
SATURDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN UPTON HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM FRIDAY TO 1 PM EST
SATURDAY.

* LOCATIONS...SOUTHERN FAIRFIELD COUNTY.

* HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS.

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 18 TO 24 INCHES.

* WINDS...NORTHEAST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 45 MPH.

* TEMPERATURES...FALLING IT NO THE 20S FRIDAY EVENING.

* VISIBILITIES...ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES.

* TIMING...THE STRONGEST WINDS AND HEAVIEST SNOW WILL OCCUR FRIDAY
EVENING INTO SATURDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS...HEAVY SNOW AND WINDS WILL MAKE FOR DANGEROUS DRIVING
CONDITIONS WITH VISIBILITIES NEAR ZERO IN WHITE-OUT CONDITIONS.
IN ADDITION...SOME TREE LIMBS WILL BE DOWNED...CAUSING SCATTERED
POWER OUTAGES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS
AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT
CONDITIONS...MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF
YOU MUST TRAVEL...HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET
STRANDED...STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

&&

$$
...so they Upped your snowfall totals...stay safe up there..ages ago my dad had a house in Sherman so i know your area..loved candlewood lake..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
BLIZZARD WARNINGS FOR ALL MY AREA INCLUDING NYC

HISTORIC SNOWSTORM...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY
355 PM EST THU FEB 7 2013

...MAJOR WINTER STORM TO IMPACT THE TRI-STATE AREA FRIDAY INTO
SATURDAY...

CTZ005-009-080500-
/O.UPG.KOKX.WS.A.0001.130208T1800Z-130209T1800Z/
/O.NEW.KOKX.BZ.W.0001.130208T1100Z-130209T1800Z/
NORTHERN FAIRFIELD-SOUTHERN FAIRFIELD-
355 PM EST THU FEB 7 2013

...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM FRIDAY TO 1 PM EST
SATURDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN UPTON HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM FRIDAY TO 1 PM EST
SATURDAY.

* LOCATIONS...SOUTHERN FAIRFIELD COUNTY.

* HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS.

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 18 TO 24 INCHES.

* WINDS...NORTHEAST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 45 MPH.

* TEMPERATURES...FALLING IT NO THE 20S FRIDAY EVENING.

* VISIBILITIES...ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES.

* TIMING...THE STRONGEST WINDS AND HEAVIEST SNOW WILL OCCUR FRIDAY
EVENING INTO SATURDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS...HEAVY SNOW AND WINDS WILL MAKE FOR DANGEROUS DRIVING
CONDITIONS WITH VISIBILITIES NEAR ZERO IN WHITE-OUT CONDITIONS.
IN ADDITION...SOME TREE LIMBS WILL BE DOWNED...CAUSING SCATTERED
POWER OUTAGES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS
AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT
CONDITIONS...MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF
YOU MUST TRAVEL...HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET
STRANDED...STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

&&

$$
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Quoting LargoFl:
my guess is tomorrow morning early BUT..as the storm gets closer, upgrades will come down the pike..best to stay tuned to your local warnings....
There we go! Just upgraded to Blizzard Warning.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Nothing in the way of bitter cold is expected, but the CPC says the next two weeks will be on the cooler side throughout most of the contiguous U.S., with the exception of the northeasternmost and southeasternmost extremities. If it holds, this will be a pattern we haven't seen in a good long time:

cpc

cpc
Didn't those maps show warmer than expected temps just 2-3 days ago?
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Quoting interstatelover7165:
Also , does anybody know when these watches (winter storm) will be upgraded?
my guess is tomorrow morning early BUT..as the storm gets closer, upgrades will come down the pike..best to stay tuned to your local warnings....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
311. VR46L
Quoting Neapolitan:
Nothing in the way of bitter cold is expected, but the CPC says the next two weeks will be on the cooler side throughout most of the contiguous U.S., with the exception of the northeasternmost and southeasternmost extremities. If it holds, this will be a pattern we haven't seen in a good long time:

cpc

cpc


They are cool graphics today ...
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6998
They are calling for..along with the 2 feet of snow..a tenth of an inch of Ice!!...hopefully that doesnt come After the snow ends..it will make clean up a horrible job huh...
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


Im up to nearly 17" of snow, over a foot in NYC... upping the snowfalls.. GRAZY!
Also , does anybody know when these watches (winter storm) will be upgraded?
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Quoting aspectre:
198 Jedkins01: Right, because Almighty scientists never have an ideology, they are always 100% truthful, and they don't have the same human nature as anyone else.

Nope. Rather because they can't get away with lying... not for long. Because nearly all scientists LOVE to catch errors in others' work. And provide alternative interpretations of that work if there are no errors.
That's how ya get street cred in the sciences ifn ya ain't of GENIUS caliber. And even if you are of GENIUS caliber, your merely genius and merely smart peers would LOVE to TopGun ya... on any point.



First of all, I didn't say lie, and second, you missed my point entirely, oh well...
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NWS Taunton hazard map:



Dark red is blizzard warning, lime green is blizzard watch (should be upgraded to warning soon), pink inland is winter storm warning, blue is winter storm watch (should be upgraded to warning soon), dark green at coast is coastal flood warning, purple offshore is storm warning, light red offshore is hurricane force wind warning.

Edit: Graphic hasn't updated yet but as of their new discussion Taunton has upgraded all blizzard watches to warnings and I believe all winter storm watches to warnings.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8049
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
this would be interesting 9-10 days out:



and then:

look at ny:


Been real busy at work so I've missed the last two model runs, just saw that a few minutes ago before checking on new posts here and nearly shat myself. I understand we're out in the "flip a coin" forecasting there, but I'm right near the center of that 30" purple hole over upstate NY so needless to say I'll be keeping a real close eye on that as it develops.
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Nothing in the way of bitter cold is expected, but the CPC says the next two weeks will be on the cooler side throughout most of the contiguous U.S., with the exception of the northeasternmost and southeasternmost extremities. If it holds, this will be a pattern we haven't seen in a good long time:

cpc

cpc
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


Im up to nearly 17" of snow, over a foot in NYC... upping the snowfalls.. GRAZY!
I've kinda figured you were in this area. I also live here, right near Danbury. 17" for us so far!
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272


Im up to nearly 17" of snow, over a foot in NYC... upping the snowfalls.. GRAZY!
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
Quoting JTDailyUpdate:
Alright not making a joke here; but apparently one of the bars in Boston is offering a free beer for every inch of snow they receive over three feet
LOL you gotta hand it to them..only customers wont be able to get to them
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
Snow Storm out West also..........
...STRONG WINTER STORM TO IMPACT NEVADA TONIGHT THROUGH
SATURDAY...

.A STRONG PACIFIC STORM SYSTEM WILL IMPACT THE GREAT BASIN
BEGINNING TONIGHT. LIGHT SNOW WILL BEGIN FALLING ACROSS WESTERN
NEVADA THIS EVENING THEN SPREAD EAST OVERNIGHT. WIDESPREAD SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS...AND AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW...ARE EXPECTED THROUGH
SATURDAY. HAZARDOUS ROAD CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN MANY AREAS.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
NYC UNDER THE GUN...12-18 INCHES NOW

Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Alright not making a joke here; but apparently one of the bars in Boston is offering a free beer for every inch of snow they receive over three feet
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Any chance some of that snow sneaks in DC either from this storm or the possible storm next week?
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
I normally post these Talking Heads lyrics during an impending Hurricane landfall in the Summer/Fall but it is appropriate with this storm getting ready to impact the NE. Appropriate precautions and supplies need to be addressed by all of those in the path of this system. This evening and tomorrow morning is a good time to get ready before conditions deteriorate by Friday afternoon:

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
This ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain't got time for that now


Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est
fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better
Run run run run run run run away
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2639
198 Jedkins01: Right, because Almighty scientists never have an ideology, they are always 100% truthful, and they don't have the same human nature as anyone else.

Nope. Rather because they can't get away with lying... or being in the wrong... at least not for long. Because nearly all scientists LOVE to catch errors in others' work. And LOVE to provide alternative interpretations of that work if there are no errors.
That's how ya get street cred in the (maths and) sciences ifn ya ain't of GENIUS caliber.
Even if you are of GENIUS caliber, your merely genius and your merely smart peers would LOVE to TopGun ya... on any point, however minor.

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Moisture inching towards DC..................
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
wow ALL this moisture headed north.....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
... Winter Storm Warning in effect from 3 PM Friday to 6 am EST
Saturday...

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly has issued a Winter
Storm Warning for heavy snow... which is in effect from 3 PM
Friday to 6 am EST Saturday.

* Locations... southeast Pennsylvania west and north of Philadelphia
into south central New Jersey.

* Hazard types... heavy snow.

* Accumulations... snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches... along with
possibly a trace of ice.

* Timing... any snow Friday morning will change rain during the
daylight hours then back to heavy snow late in the day Friday or
Friday evening. One to 2 inch per hour accumulations are possible
for a couple of hours Friday night. Northerly winds will gust 30
mph causing blowing and drifting. There is a small chance for a
thunderstorm with the snow.

* Impacts... very hazardous travel is expected for the Friday
evening commute and well into the night with visibility down to
one quarter mile at times. Isolated power outages are possible.

* Temperatures... mostly just above freezing during the day falling
to 25 to 30 at night.

* Confidence... this region is probably going to be on the edge of
the heavy snow and amounts may vary from what is currently
expected.


Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow...
sleet... and ice are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also
possible. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

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you can do it..just a lil further eastward.....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42272

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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.

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