It’s snow time again in Boston – CNN
(CNN)This is a busy travel weekend in Boston. With schools on break next week, many people are leaving town. They’re also probably seeking someplace, anyplace, where the snow isn’t piled higher than the roof of a car and the temperatures are above freezing.
They have a few more hours to catch a flight or get in the car and get the heck out of there before the latest massive storm brings everything bad about winter. It’s going to be snowy, cold and extremely windy this weekend.
Forecasters predict a blizzard will arrive Saturday evening and depart Sunday night. In a record-setting month, it won’t be the worst storm the town has ever seen, but it will just compound the exasperation caused by three, now four, weather systems that have dumped piles of the frosty precipitation on the city.
This is a big one
- Light snow, relatively speaking: Compared with other storms, this won’t be as big a snow event for Boston. About 10 to 14 inches are forecast. Coastal Massachusetts might see 6 to 10 inches, forecasters say.
- Wicked wind: Some gusts of wind could reach hurricane strength, 74 mph or greater. Sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph will cause the snow to blow around and hamper visibility. Power outages can be expected in many areas, the National Weather Service said.
- Another blizzard: Eastern Massachusetts and coastal areas of the Bay State are under blizzard warnings. So are parts of eastern Maine, where wind gusts of 60 mph are possible and up to 26 inches of snow.
- Storm surge: With high winds the surf along the Massachusetts coast will be harsh. The storm surge in northeastern parts of the state and in Maine could be 2 to 2½ feet. This could lead to flooding.
Travel will be a nightmare
- No mass transit Sunday: MBTA, better known to many as the T, won’t run Sunday, when the worst of the weather will be hitting. There will be no subway, bus, commuter rail, trolley or ferry service. It’s the third time the subway has shuttered service because of a serious storm. Officials will decide on Sunday whether to cancel service for Monday. Amtrak also canceled two trains on Saturday and six on Sunday.
- Whiteout conditions: There is no ban on driving but it seems now like it would be a pretty bad idea. “Travel will become nearly impossible,” the National Weather Service is saying. The snow will be a light snow, so it will fly around easily in the strong winds. Visibility will be a quarter-mile or less during the storm.
- Flight trouble: Dozens of flights that had been scheduled to land at Boston’s Logan International Airport on Saturday have been called off already. According to the flight tracking website FlightAware, 31 flights have been canceled at Logan. Only one flight out of the airport was taken off the board, but that might change as the storm moves closer.
- Staying home? All this snow has caused small business in Boston to hurt. So much so that Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday declared next week as Valentine’s week. Can’t get to your romantic restaurant on Saturday, or you forgot to make reservations? The governor is giving you an extension.
It’s not limited to the Northeast
- Widespread wind field: If you live in Asheville, North Carolina, you don’t have to worry about a blizzard, but the winds will be fierce beginning Saturday evening. You could travel from there to Maine’s border with Canada and face gusts of 40 mph or stronger the entire way.
- Forecast for the south: Birmingham and Atlanta, two cities that had a difficult go of it last year during one memorable snowy/icy storm, might find residents flooding grocery stores on Sunday night. “Wintry precipitation possible early next week,” the National Weather Service in Atlanta said. “Are you ready for a shot at winter?” the agency’s Birmingham office said.
It’s already been a record-breaking winter
- Record month: With 42.3 inches of snow recorded this month, Boston has already had the snowiest February on record and with the first inch of Saturday’s snow, this month will become the snowiest of any month in Boston history, at least since records have been kept since 1872.
- Almost 8 feet: Boston has received more snow this season-to-date than ever: 79.5 inches so far.
- Double trouble: Boston has never had more than one official blizzard in the same year. This should be the second; another hit the city in late January.