An Early Warning Weather Alert is in effect now through midday Saturday for major coastal flooding, severe to extreme beach erosion, damaging winds, torrential rain and heavy interior snow.
This system rivaled past nor'easters in January of this year with coastal flooding. With winds gusting to over 90 mph, it was the strongest wind producer since the snow blitz of 2005, where gusts were clocked at over 100 mph on Cape Cod.
The biggest impacts with this storm will revolve around major coastal flooding and damaging winds. All state parks and reservations are closed today ahead of the worst part of the coastal flooding.
The term "major" means that a few homes along the coast are expected to be destroyed. The combination of water inundation and large waves are expected to destroy coastal structures and seawalls. Many coastal neighborhoods will likely become isolated due to flooding, some for a long duration of time.
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A storm surge of 2 to 3 feet is expected along the coast of eastern Massachusetts today, followed by a 4 to 5 feet storm surge during tomorrow's late morning high tide. Dangerous storm surge and coastal inundation will remain through the day tomorrow with waters finally beginning to recede Sunday afternoon. Offshore waters will crest to 30 to 35 feet.
Another aspect of this storm will be damaging winds. An impressive low-level jet forms in response to the developing coastal low south of Nantucket. Strong pressure falls, coupled with heavy rain will bring some strong winds down to the surface this afternoon and evening. The wind field of this storm encompasses most of New England, with the worst of it centered across eastern Massachusetts.
Heavy wet snow will accumulate across the higher terrain of western New England, including the Berkshires and the Green Mountains. In terms of amounts, the potential for a wet 8 to 12 inches of snow is possible across these areas. Overall, this is the hardest part of a complex and multi-faceted forecast.
We will need to watch these areas for the development of additional power outages where heavy snow and winds may put extra stress on power lines and trees.
A flood warning remains up until 1:30am in southeastern Massachusetts for runoff from torrential rain. Some areas have received over 4 inches of rain.
Not expecting a freeze overnight. Winds and temps stay in the upper 30s thanks to a lack of cold air on the back side of the storm.
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