MEMA Situational Awareness Statement: Anticipated Nor’easter Wednesday into Thursday

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DATE: March 20, 2018
TIME: 6:45 AM

SUBJECT: Anticipated Nor’easter Wednesday into Thursday

SITUATION:

The National Weather Service is increasingly confident that the Commonwealth will be impacted by a nor’easter beginning Wednesday morning through Thursday morning.  This storm will bring 8 inches – and possibly areas of 10-14 inches – of snow from Springfield east, with areas of western MA seeing 2-6 inches.  Additionally, coastal Massachusetts, the Cape and Islands will experience strong winds. Minor to moderate coastal flooding with areas of moderate to severe erosion is expected for north- and east-facing shores south of Boston for the early Tuesday morning high tide cycle.

FORECAST:

Snow:

  • Snow will overspread the region early Wednesday and will be heaviest late Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday night before tapering off Thursday morning.
  • 8 – 12 inches of snow for central, eastern and southeastern MA, with 10 – 14 inches possible in southern Worcester county.. 2-6 inches are possible for western MA, and 4-6 inches on the Cape and Vineyard where there may be a rain/snow mix.
  • Heavy snow will cause hazardous travel conditions and have adverse impacts on the Wednesday evening commute.
  • Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for a portion of Massachusetts along a line from Springfield-Worcester-Boston.  Note that due to uncertainty, Winter Storm Watches have been issued or continue outside of the Warning area as snowfall amounts will be adjusted through the day today.

Wind:

  • Northeast to north winds may gust to 45-55 mph along the immediate MA coast. Winds may gust to 25-35 mph farther inland across the remainder of the region.
  • Peak Winds will occur during the day on Wednesday into Wednesday night.
  • High Wind Watches have been issued for coastal areas of Southeastern Massachusetts.

Coastal Flooding:

  • Wednesday Afternoon High Tide: Minor coastal flooding is possible during the Wednesday afternoon high tide along the coastline south of Boston.
  • Thursday Early Morning High Tide: Minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible during the early Thursday morning high tide (which is mainly from 1 AM to 6 AM) along the southeast MA coast from the South Shore to Cape Cod, as well as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. This is due to a combination of astronomical tides (which are on the increase); an expected 2.5 feet of storm surge from Boston to Plymouth and 2.5 to 3.0 feet of surge for Cape Cod and the Islands; and 15-20+ foot seas just off the coast.
  • A Coastal Flood Watch has been issued for east- and north-facing shorelines for the early Tuesday morning high tide cycle.

Marine

  • Storm Warnings for the southern tier of waters and Gale Warnings for the northern tier of waters have been issued.

Power Outages

  • Power outages due to heavy snow and/or strong winds are possible in eastern Massachusetts, especially along the coast.

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