BOSTON (CBS) - Bombo-Blizzard 2018!
Hard to believe after two monster nor'easters in the last 10 days that the atmosphere would have anything left to give, but it may have just saved the best (or worst) for last.
Not only will this be Boston's biggest snowstorm of the season, but it could challenge the record books for the greatest snowstorm ever recorded in March!
In fact, you'll likely have to go back more than three years to find a bigger snow accumulation in one storm (February 8, 2015: 23.8 inches).
The National Weather Service declared an official blizzard in Boston at noon and at 11 a.m. in Hyannis, Falmouth and Plymouth after all four locations recorded three hours of blizzard conditions. Marshfield, Martha's Vineyard and Newport, Rhode Island followed later in the afternoon.
Blizzard warnings are posted up and down the coastline from Maine to Cape Cod. Visibility will be near zero at times Tuesday with an absolute whiteout of wind-whipped snow.
In short, if you don't absolutely have to go out, stay home!
Looking for some silver linings?
This will be a much lighter and fluffier snow than the last storm for the majority of our area. This will help to cut down on power outages a bit and make the snow a bit easier to move around. At the coastline, tides are very low astronomically, this will spare the majority of our shoreline from what could have been another major blow.
Bands of heavy, blowing and drifting snow will continue to spiral in from the ocean all day long.
Moderate to heavy snow will last through about 8 p.m.
After that, the intensity will decrease dramatically and the overall coverage of the snow will become patchy and spotty.
Lingering areas of snow showers will continue through the night, not completely tapering off until later Wednesday morning.
Nearly our entire viewing area will see a minimum of a foot of snow from this storm.
10-14 inches: Western Worcester County, parts of central and northern New England
14-18 inches: Eastern Worcester County all the way east to the coastline. Including all of Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk counties. Also includes most of the Outer Cape and Martha's Vineyard. Also likely in the Berkshires as a heavy band is setting up there.
18-24 inches: There will likely be some intense localized banding that sets up in southeast Massachusetts. So, a good portion of Bristol and Plymouth counties will be the "jackpot" snow zones seeing up to 2 feet! This may also include the upper part of Cape Cod.
WINDS, BLIZZARD CONDITIONS
The strongest winds, as usual, will be located along the coastline.
Winds will reach 55-65 mph from Cape Ann to coastal Plymouth county and over Cape Cod and the Islands. Expect gusts of 40-55 mph along the rest of the coast. Inland gusts will top out between 20-40 mph.
Blizzard conditions are forecast to occur at times in eastern Mass. due to the intensity of the snow combined with the frequent, gusty winds lowering the visibility to near zero.
POWER OUTAGE CONCERNS
The risk of power outages is not as high with this snow storm compared with the last. This is largely due to the weight of the snow being slightly lower.
Closer to the coast and over southeastern Mass. the risk is a bit higher due to lower snow-liquid ratios, more wind and generally speaking, more snow.
With tides being fairly low astronomically, we do not anticipate any major coastal flooding. During the Tuesday morning high tide (between 9-10 a.m.), minor to moderate coastal flooding and splash over is likely at most east facing shorelines.
Wave heights just offshore will once again reach 20-30 feet along with a storm surge of 2.5 to 3.5 feet. Areas most vulnerable to coastal flooding would be coastal Plymouth County, the north and east facing beaches in Barnstable County and Nantucket.
Typically March snow doesn't hang around long, but, this time around there is some serious cold coming after the storm.
Daytime highs through at least early next week will be stuck mainly in the 30's, perhaps briefly touching the low 40's on a few occasions. And, Snow-M-G, I hate to even say it, but many models are indicating the possibility of another nor'easter-type event around the middle of next week.
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