These are always the strange and forgotten days before a major storm. People (especially meteorologists) are so focused on the event that no one pays attention to the present.
Well, maybe the cold will bring you back to reality this morning. Wind chills will demand your attention as they hover near zero thanks to a steady northwesterly wind. That wind is receding tonight, allowing temperatures to drop to single digits and low teens under starry skies. We will be back into the 20s tomorrow as streamers of high clouds begin to drift from the storm late in the day.
Friday will be shrouded in cloud, but we’ll hold snow until late at night or even into the wee hours of Saturday morning. Then the “fun” begins.
First, a primer. When we plan days in advance, we often talk about trail. It’s not like a hurricane track, with strike probabilities and forecast cones. A “landfall” of this storm would mean snow to rain with strong winds and highs in the 40s.
What makes this storm more sinister is a track DISABLED the coast, typically near the 40N/70W “reference” due south of Nantucket. If the storm continues in the Gulf of Maine, we stay on the west side of the storm and are snow hammered for hours.
The sheer size of this storm also makes it easier to bury. Even a peek could get you a foot closer – though that’s probably sequestered southeast of Mass & the Cape. The winds will also be powerful with a glance. And coastal flooding probably can’t be avoided either.
But what is the actual track? Hard to pinpoint this far from the event, but heavy snow will be widespread. We are on the fence between where the foot or more may fall, or if we are closer to two feet in places.
The timeline brings steady snow around midnight Friday and keeps it there all day Saturday. There are some signs that it is winding down Saturday night or even very early Sunday.
The gusts of wind seem powerful enough to cause some breakdowns. White-outs seem certain. Blizzard conditions are likely and the threat of coastal flooding, although not major (thanks to the fact that we missed the new moon by three days), is minor to moderate during the Saturday morning high tide.
There is certainly a list of articles to be discussed in the next few days. We will stay focused on the details. And please don’t hoard bread and milk. Some of us love toast and Cheerios on Sunday mornings.