Potentially historic blizzard set to blanket New York

26 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Northeast Braces for Massive Snowstorm.

A massive storm with the potential to drop 1 to 3 feet of snow, whipped by hurricane-force wind gusts, is expected to hit southern New England Monday night, lasting through Tuesday and possibly into Wednesday morning. “This storm definitely has the capability of being not only historic but also catastrophic,” said Benjamin Sipprell, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton. Blizzard conditions with heavy snow and powerful winds are possible in both cities starting Monday and into Tuesday, and snow should arrive in some areas before daybreak — just in time for the start of the work week. “This will be the strongest storm of the year,” said NWS meteorologist Brian Hurley. “This Nor’easter is going to produce a wide swath of snowfall.” New York City, Boston and Connecticut should expect whopping snow totals of up to 2 feet, he said. “Looks like our luck is about to run out,” John Paulsen said as he gassed up his sport utility vehicle in New Jersey. “I can’t complain too much since we’ve had a pretty mild winter, but I don’t know if I’m ready for a foot or so of snow all at once.” The storm system driving out of the Midwest brought snow to Ohio on Sunday and was expected to ultimately spread it from the nation’s capital to Maine. And residents from Philadelphia to New York are being advised to change their travel plans for the blockbuster winter storm that will impact the Northeast on Monday and Tuesday. Lesser totals were forecast for the Washington area — a coating or a bit more — with steadily increasing amounts expected as the storm plods its way north.

If this storm is as large as predicted, it would be the first major winter weather event of Baker’s administration, and Judge said the governor is “in the loop” on all preparations. “I don’t think he’ll be here for the [meeting] … but he’ll certainly be involved in any decisions we make if we have to make any pre-storm decisions,” Judge said. “Our job here is to advise him.” He said MEMA is sharing information with cities and towns and with the public to encourage and assist with preparations. A Manhattan Home Depot store sold about twice as many shovels over the weekend as it normally does while transit officials hoping to keep the subways running smoothly planned to use modified subway cars loaded with de-icing fluid to spray the third rail that powers trains. The powerful winter storm is a concern not just because of the rapid intensification it will undergo after it moves off the Mid-Atlantic coast, but also because of the high pressure and the deep pool of cold air to the north. Residents should prepare for power outages with emergency kits containing flashlights and batteries, non-perishable food, water, and other necessities, he said, and should take care of errands ahead of the storm. Inside the Star Market on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester early this afternoon, shoppers wearing snow hats and boots waited in lines, many stocking up on items before the storm.

Some filled their carts with staples such as bread and milk, while others prioritized chips and candy. “I have to have something for the sweet tooth,” she said gesturing to boxes of chocolate chip cookies and Oreos in her cart. “That’s important.” A blizzard watch is in effect from Monday evening through late Tuesday night for eastern Massachusetts, coastal areas of Connecticut and all of Rhode Island, with a winter storm watch in effect for Cape Cod. The highest recorded snow total for Boston is 27.6 inches on Feb. 17 – 18 2003, just edging out the 27.1 inches that fell in the Blizzard of 1978, according to the weather service. He also said that the MBTA’s Snowzilla, a jet-powered snowblower used to clear tracks on the Mattapan trolley line, “may come out of hibernation.” Globe correspondent Jacqueline Tempera and Felice J. Around New York, the Weather Service’s “most likely” scenario is weighted heavily toward the worst case scenario, with a whopping 18 to 24 inches across all five boroughs of N.Y.C., Long Island, and southern Conn.

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