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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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
come on baby..bring that rain right to me......
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436


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271) Bet Patrap doesn't like that one! Soulard Grand Parade Sat. should be great weather, sunny start, 30s into 50s. Hope all that go enjoy themselves, I'll be home cooking gumbo, etc. for little Carnival Saturday soiree we host each year. All you NE might as well too! Hope your power stays on, stay safe.

Line just about to move through, got a little rain from the piece ahead of it. StL getting into it also.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Afternoon all. 83 degrees here just North of Austin. Jan and Feb have both felt like spring here so it boggles my mind that there are places in this country that could be receiving 2+ feet of snow. To all those in the NE, stay safe.
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BLIZZARD WARNINGS FROM PORTLAND TO NH...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting Beachygrl:
Someone just said one of the models changed dramatically and they are waiting on the GFS and Euro models to see them later this afternoon. That Pa MontCo/Phila Co/Bucks Co/Etc will see 12-18"... is this true?
Go girl and prove it! I think that you are right and the site you saw are correct. I believe it too. PA is gonna get this and no one is predicting it. Saw some pics of it today... Stay safe!
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JMA Model








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278. 900MB
Quoting Luisport:
Gezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz HOLLY CARP!!!


24"-30" on most reliable Euro for NYC!!!
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon all! Looks like this definitely could be one of the biggest storms ever up here. I'm right in the jackpot zone, expecting about 24-28" at my house the way it stands now. Should be fun!!
Glad your back!!!!!!!!
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Good afternoon all! Looks like this definitely could be one of the biggest storms ever up here. I'm right in the jackpot zone, expecting about 24-28" at my house the way it stands now. Should be fun!!
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7779
Quoting Beachygrl:
Someone just said one of the models changed dramatically and they are waiting on the GFS and Euro models to see them later this afternoon. That Pa MontCo/Phila Co/Bucks Co/Etc will see 12-18"... is this true?
Nothing said...... BUT
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STORM:CON 10/10 ...FIRST TIME EVER SEEN
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
for Long island NY.................
... Blizzard watch in effect from Friday afternoon through
Saturday afternoon...
... Winter Storm Watch is cancelled...

The National Weather Service in Upton has issued a blizzard
watch... which is in effect from Friday afternoon through Saturday
afternoon. The Winter Storm Watch has been cancelled.

* Locations... Suffolk County on Long Island.

* Hazard types... heavy snow and damaging winds.

* Accumulations... snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches.

* Winds... north 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.

* Temperatures... in the lower 30s.

* 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 will make for dangerous driving conditions.
In addition... the heavy snow and strong winds could result in
blizzard conditions... bringing down some tree limbs... and
causing scattered power outages.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A blizzard watch means there is a potential for falling and/or
blowing snow with strong winds and extremely poor visibilities.
This can lead to whiteout conditions and make travel very
dangerous.







Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
Quoting Beachygrl:
Ill keep watching!! Everyone getting crazy amounts... be safe!
Thank you for the update. Be safe!!!
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12z GFS precip to 120 hours


240


360
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Quoting talstrasse5:
I wonder what we have in store for us here on the eastern tip of Long Island? Anyone venture a guess? As bad as Massachusetts? We're frequently left out of the discussions.
well i posted it earlier but your under a blizzard watch and they say coastal flooding etc..good luck up there ok..oh and gusts up to 60mph+..going to be a stormy day or two for sure.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38436
Quoting GTcooliebai:
European Model:




RPM Model:



The EMCWF calls for over 2' in southwestern CT and central Long Island and for the Boston area...WOW!
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting GTcooliebai:
European Model:




RPM Model:



Thanks GT :)
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


I can't access any of the models..can you put up a picture?


For some reason when I click on his pic to save it, the full picture wont load up..look up on facebook Henry Margusity Fan Club and you can see it there..
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European Model:




RPM Model:

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Ill keep watching!! Everyone getting crazy amounts... be safe!
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Thanks Beachygrl. You're the best!!!!!!!!!
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Quoting ncstorm:
Henry Margusity Fan Club

Latest ECMWF snow fx. Notice the 30 inches is gone plus look at the hole over DC.


I can't access any of the models..can you put up a picture?
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
All along I've watched, this storm is closer to the east and coast born. PA is in this.
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MAJOR HISTORIC SNOWSTORM INDEED




Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting Beachygrl:
Someone just said one of the models changed dramatically and they are waiting on the GFS and Euro models to see them later this afternoon. That Pa MontCo/Phila Co/Bucks Co/Etc will see 12-18"... is this true?
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Henry Margusity Fan Club

Latest ECMWF snow fx. Notice the 30 inches is gone plus look at the hole over DC.
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Quoting JustPlantIt:
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Good Afternoon. Starting to get gusty in North Florida as that monster low starts to push off the coast and head towards New England. It is deepening for sure and will be a strong one.

For those who like to monitor conditions, and as a great real time alternative to radar, I am enclosing the link for LiveATC.Net below. Real time airport tower communications for most major airports in the world and all major airports in the US. It takes a little time to scroll through and find a particular location but once you do so, you can set up a direct icon/link to a particular tower to your desktop screen.

I have about 15 airports locked in from the Gulf Coast and up the East Coast to monitor storm conditions (especially with a kid in college in Connecticut) for any particular location. It will come in handy over the next several days for the NE (and certainly during H-Season when I monitor airports in the Caribbean).

Link
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In another note.. A 6.6 quake strikes the Santa Cruz Islands again...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
NAM BRINGS NYC FOR OVER 20" OF SNOW NOW...CRAZY OUTLIER....

Gezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz HOLLY CARP!!!
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2026
Quoting ScottLincoln:

If I'm understanding how Mr. Karstens set up his meteogram generator correctly, I think the snow accumulation is 0.0 at T0 (the start time).
So in actuality, the rainfall/snowfall accumulation numbers near T0 are shouldn't be taken as the "current rain/snow on the ground."

Unfortunately, a model initializing poorly for current snow depth might cause the model to simulate the future poorly, as it will model the ground as if it were snow and not bare earth/grass/forest/etc. That could change temperature, which could change positioning of storm systems and fronts. Generally-speaking, the more close to observations the initialization is, the better the simulation will be.

This can vary, even with the same model. Here is a somewhat out of date overview on model resolution:
http://www.personal.psu.edu/adb241/eWallTutorial/ models/modelgrid.htm

I was trying to find a better summary page perhaps from NCEP but it did not come up easily in a quick google search.

Okay, I do see that now, thank you for the correction. Also thank you for the explanation on model resolution, it makes a lot more sense to me now. For my sake I hope it totally misses us, but I know some guys that could use the work plowing so I guess it works out either way.
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179 GeorgiaStormz: Why do people buy milk and bread for storms?
I'm sure bread is fine but do you really need a run on milk?
With a store full of thousands of non perishable foods and drinks, why are milk and bread cleaned off the shelves in hours?
At my house for significant winter weather(almost never) we buy gatorade/juice and canned foods/crackers/etc...
I've never understood the "BUY ALL THE BREAD AND MILK!!" panic at the first sign of a major snowstorm.


Gatorade and juices? Sugar water with a pinch of vitaminC.
Might as well stock up on Coke and vitamin pills.
(If it weren't for alcoholism and hypothermia, be better off buying beer.)

Excluding the poor, most folks have plenty of non-perishables in their pantry... quite a bit of it bought so far back that no one remembers how long it's been there (ie treatable as emergency stock). And plenty of perishables in their refrigerators&freezers.
Those who can afford it tend to choose to use fresh over frozen, frozen over canned; frozen over fresh if they're normally short of time, or just don't like cooking prep-work.

Electricity out? Lots of sandwiches. Washing up cookwear/etc ain't no fun when the dishwasher AND the hotwater heater are out. Gas still working? Handwashing cookware/etc still ain't no fun. Still ain't no fun cooking under lantern light.
Hence stocking up on bread. Perishable, but not the kinda stuff one normally buys in bulk to store in a fridge or freezer.

Gas out? Milk over cereal. And if one has a fireplace or a wood-burning(heating)stove*, it's fairly simple to whomp up some oatmeal or similar hot porridge (as well as stews and soups).
Then there's the traditional "It's snowing. Time for hot cocoa."
But mostly, it's bought "for the kids" because milk provides high nutritional content for a liquid. Not as much as the dairy industry would wantcha to believe, but still a LOT more than darn near any other drink one could find in a supermarket.
(Nearly all nutritionally comparable drinks are sold as milk substitutes.)

Hence the last minute run for bread and milk.

* A camp stove or barbeque grill is good enough provided you do NOT use them in a closed space.
Use in a well ventilated area such as a porch, a carport, or an open garage.
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251. VR46L
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6898
Quoting JustPlantIt:
Why doesn't her quote come up?
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NAM BRINGS NYC FOR OVER 20" OF SNOW NOW...CRAZY OUTLIER....

Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting JustPlantIt:
Think that this is true!
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I wonder what we have in store for us here on the eastern tip of Long Island? Anyone venture a guess? As bad as Massachusetts? We're frequently left out of the discussions.
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Looks like an early "dryline" (kinda) severe weather setup on Saturday across parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

The lack of higher moisture content appears to be the major limiting factor for a more robust severe weather event, however, it is not out of the question to see some large hail and possibly an isolated tornado after dark in the Texas panhandle.

what blizzard??? jk :)

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Quoting JustPlantIt:
Wow,, someone to notice this. Might happen.
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Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting Beachygrl:
Someone just said one of the models changed dramatically and they are waiting on the GFS and Euro models to see them later this afternoon. That Pa MontCo/Phila Co/Bucks Co/Etc will see 12-18"... is this true?
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BLIZZARD WATCHES COULD BE EXTENDED WESTWARDS CLOSE NORTH TO NYC
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Someone just said one of the models changed dramatically and they are waiting on the GFS and Euro models to see them later this afternoon. That Pa MontCo/Phila Co/Bucks Co/Etc will see 12-18"... is this true?
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Quoting pcola57:


Aren't you in class Max?.. :)


Hey I just read that... School is over now for me until Monday next week...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
AccuWeather.com‏@breakingweather

RT @accu_henry: Storm will probably intensify off Norfolk, bomb out going to Nantucket, loop Sat Am and head out.
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2026

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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.