Tracking a Nor'easter: Timing, Snowfall, Wind and Flooding Potential

This weekend's nor'easter could include heavy snowfall, damaging winds and coastal flooding

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We continue with a First Alert for Saturday as a major coastal storm will impact New England.  Keep in mind, the track will shift several times with each model run between now and Saturday, but this storm is so large it will be hard to get a miss.  Here are some early thoughts on impacts, which are of course dependent on the storm track.

Timing & Snowfall

Friday night into all day Saturday is our timeframe, with the worst of the storm Saturday morning through afternoon.  This timing is not set in stone, but that’s what it looks like now.  A cold front from the north slides in Friday late day and will bring in some snow showers, but the main storm offshore to our south is only just beginning to strengthen.  As the storm heads northeast just off the coast, it may take a path over the "benchmark" 40N, 70W.  This would give us a classic nor’easter, burying Boston in a foot or more of snow and blasting the coast.  With also blizzard conditions likely for some, especially with the fluffier snow consistency. 

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Snow ratios of 15:1 are likely in Boston, as opposed to the usual 10:1.  Our guidance has been consistent with around a foot or two across eastern New England and we continue to see this signal.  A more south jog in the GFS this afternoon would still mean Boston gets heavy snow, but not as much for say, Springfield or Worcester.  The afternoon EURO shifted slightly east.  Our overall forecast remains the same at this time. 

Damaging Winds

Saturday after midnight the winds ramp up from the northeast.  Some 40-50 mph gusts are likely at the coast, 30-40 mph inland.  Then as the low pressure system deepens and heads towards the benchmark, we expect 60-70 mph gusts, to 70-80 mph winds offshore.  This will bring damage and outages across the coast, more scattered inland.  The wind continues to stay strong all day. 

Coastal Flooding

Tides are increasing astronomically through the weekend.  We expect at least minor to moderate coastal flooding with a 1-3 foot storm surge for the Saturday morning and Saturday evening high tides (In Boston 8 a.m. & 9 p.m.…flood stage is 12.5’).  Waves of 20-30' will be offshore, building through the morning and afternoon. 

NBC10 Boston
NBC10 Boston

Before & After the Storm

Wednesday and Thursday are nice and quiet for any storm preparations. Tonight’s lows drop to the single digits south and below zero again to the north, but with little wind to add to the chill.  Thursday brings us sunshine and highs in the 20s again.  Friday we start off cloudy with highs in the mid 30s.  Snow showers head in Friday night, then the big storm hits Saturday. Sunday we have highs in the mid 20s and sunshine-a good day for storm cleanup.  Next week we remain quiet through at least midweek and temps increase a bit to the 30s, then mid 40s by Wednesday. 

Meteorologist Matt Noyes digs deeper into how much snow we can expect from the big snowstorm coming this weekend.

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