Update at 5:oo p.m.: We’re going to leave you with a radar image for the evening. Light to moderately heavy snow continues to fall across Massachusetts, Connecticut, and far eastern Long Island, though breaks in the heaviest bands have a started to appear over far eastern Massachusetts. Visibility was up to two miles at Logan International in Boston at 5 p.m., with wind gusts around 35 mph.
The coastal flood warning remains in effect for the shoreline of Massachusetts until 8 p.m. — high tide is washing ashore now which means coastal locations, including Cape Cod and Nantucket, seeing significant flooding. Reports of structural damage, beach erosion, and even road washout have been coming in over the past hour or so as strong on-shore winds combine with high tide.
We may be back later this evening with some final snowfall reports, and any more information on the Massachusetts coastal flooding.
Update at 4:24 p.m.: New snow totals are in for northern Connecticut, eastern Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Many counties in this region are in the 20-plus inch range. Boston is up to 26 inches at this point, which would elevate this storm to third snowiest of all time, but the airport itself has only reported 20.8 inches as of around 1 p.m., and that is the official recording station for the city. A new report from the airport should be out in a few hours.
Top snow totals by county:
Worcester (Lunenburg) — 33.1 inches
Middlesex (Framingham) — 31.5 inches
Dukes (Oaks Bluffs) — 27 inches
Suffolk (Boston) — 26 inches
Essex (Ipswich) — 26 inches
Bristol (East Freetown) — 25.5 inches
Norfolk (Blue Hills) — 25.5 inches
Barnstable (West Yarmouth) — 24 inches
Plymouth (Marshfield) — 24 inches
Windham (Thompson) — 30.5
Hartford (Marlborough) — 21.5 inches
Tolland (Staffordville) — 20 inches
Providence (West Glocester) — 24.4 inches
Kent (West Warwick) — 18.5
Newport (Middletown) — 16 inches
In Lunenburg, Mass.:
This is how they handle snow in New England:
Update at 4:02 p.m.: A look at winter warnings across the Northeast.
A blizzard warning (red, below) is in effect for Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, and eastern Maine until 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Winter storm warnings are in effect west of the the coast, which expires in eastern Long Island and southeast Connecticut through 12 a.m., though we suspect it will probably be canceled in those locations before midnight. For central Massachusetts, the winter storm warning is in effect until 8 p.m. In central New Hampshire and northwest Maine, it will expire at 4 a.m. Wednesday, and 7 a.m. Wednesday in northern Maine.
Update at 3:20 p.m.: Despite the snowfall gradually lightening up in southern New England, conditions along coastal Massachusetts have not really improved this afternoon. Winds are still gusting to around 60 mph north of Cape Cod Bay after a gust of 106 mph was recorded at around 11 a.m. On the Cape itself, gusts have held steady at around 40 mph after peaks of more than 60 mph earlier this morning.
Heavy snow continues to move across the Cape, with embedded bursts of 1 to 2 inch per hour snowfall rates. Some snow totals for the area so far (all in coastal Massachusetts):
Marshfield — 24 inches
Plymouth — 23.8 inches
Falmouth — 19 inches
Harwich — 18 inches
Wellfleet — 17.5 inches
A coastal flood warning is in effect for the eastern Massachusetts coast including Cape Cod and Nantucket through 8 p.m. Tuesday. Flooding over 3 feet, severe beach erosion, and isolated structural damage is expected at high tide, which will peak between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. across the area.
Update at 2:36 p.m.: Thoughts from the National Weather Service in Boston on how they think the snow in eastern Massachusetts will progress through the afternoon:
Snowfall totals thus far north of Boston:
Atkinson — 26 inches
Hudson — 25.5 inches
Windham — 24.3 inches
Auburn — 24 inches
Nashua — 21 inches
Manchester — 13 inches
Lewiston — 21.5
Portland — 20.3 inches
Saco — 18.7 inches
York — 15 inches
Update at 2:19 p.m.: A look at the radar shows moderate to heavy snow continuing on Cape Cod and north to the Maine coast. I-95 in Maine is in almost total whiteout conditions for a large portion of the highway from Wells to north of Waterville.
Enormous drifts in Lancaster, Mass.:
Update at 1:46 p.m.: Boston’s snow total has climbed to 21.5 inches, though they might not see more than a few inches more than that. However, they only have about three to go to break into the top five snowiest storms on record.
Zones to the west of Boston have picked up much more today — Framingham’s most recent report still sits at 30 inches, and Worcester is up to 26 inches, making this the fourth snowiest storm on record for the Worcester area.
Boston, South End:
Just east of Fenway Park:
Around Bay Village at 1:15 p.m:
Update at 1:10 p.m.: Post Nation has a roundup of the current travel and transportation status across New England. Travel bans have been lifted in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, though remain in place in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Subway service is back on in New York City, as well.
Update at 12:55 p.m.: Capital Weather Gang’s Jason Samenow details the snow forecast bust from Philadelphia to New York. In Philadelphia, 10 to 14 inches of snow was forecast, and just one or two inches ended up falling. Jason writes:
Why were the forecasts so bad?
It’s simple: Many forecasters failed to adequately communicate the uncertainty in a what was an extremely complicated forecast. Instead of presenting the forecast as a range of possibilities, many outlets simply presented the worst case scenario.
Especially for New York City, some computer model forecasts were extremely dire, predicting upwards of 30 inches of snow – shattering all-time snowfall records. The models producing these forecasts (the NAM model and European model) had a sufficiently good enough track record to take them seriously.
Of course, a too-low forecast doesn’t just mean a day off of school for no reason. Hundreds of flights were canceled for this blizzard at Newark alone.
Update at 12:20 p.m.: How much more snow will New England see? A series of heavy snow bands will continue to push west into the region through the early afternoon hours. The National Weather Service is expecting another 6 to 10 inches in the Boston area, and as much as 15 to 18 inches in the Portland, Maine, area. The map below gives a feeling for who will see the most snow for the rest of the day, though additional snowfall totals are on the high side.
Update at 12:02 p.m.: Moisture from the sunny, warm Caribbean is being pulled north in our blizzard-y nor’easter:
Update at 11:23 a.m.: The residents of Sag Harbor, N.Y., are digging out this morning.
Update at 11:15 a.m.: Instagramers capture the wrath of the blizzard in New York and Massachusetts.
Update at 11:09 a.m.: A series of heavy snow bands will continue to push over eastern Massachusetts, southeast New Hampshire, and coastal Maine for the next few hours. The Storm Prediction Center estimates that snowfall rates in these bands will exceed one inch per hour.
The heaviest snow seems to be moving northeast away from Long Island and Connecticut, and looks like it could wrap up in Rhode Island soon, as well.
In the meantime, Boston is currently getting clipped by a few of these heavier bands. The most recent snowfall reports from the Boston area total 18.2 inches in the city, and 20 inches in Chelsea.
Current conditions at Boston University:
Christopher Columbus Park:
Update at 10:50 a.m.: As much as 30 inches of snow has fallen so far across eastern Massachusetts.
Framingham — 30 inches
Littleton — 28 inches
Tyngsboro — 27 inches
Shrewsbury — 26.2 inches
Worcester — 25 inches
Chelsea — 20 inches
Boston — 18.2 inches
Update at 10:40 a.m.: Coastal flooding is inundating the eastern Massachusetts shoreline.
Update at 10:20 a.m.: As much as 28.5 inches of snow has fallen on Long Island. Totals in Suffolk County, N.Y., as of 10:05 a.m.:
Orient — 28.5 inches
Mattituck — 24.8 inches
Hampton Bays — 24 inches
Medford — 22.3 inches
Baiting Hollow — 22 inches
Islip Airport — 20.9 inches
Update at 10:03 a.m.: We’ve been talking a lot about Massachusetts, but southeast New Hampshire is getting walloped, too. Hudson, N.H., just east of Nashua, has totaled 21.5 inches thus far. 8.5 inches of that fell between 7 and 9:30 a.m.
New Hampshire totals:
Windham — 22.1 inches
Hudson — 21.5 inches
West Hampstead — 21 inches
Nashua — 14 inches
Salem — 16.2 inches
Maine conditions have also deteriorated rapidly over the past few hours. South Portland has seen 8.8 inches so far, with 2.4 inches falling in a single hour. Just west of Portland, 14.8 inches of snow has been reported. The Portland, Maine, airport has been reporting “heavy snow, blowing snow, and windy” since 6 a.m., and visibility is down to near 1/10 of a mile.
Update at 9:38 a.m.: Stay strong, Frosty.
Update at 9:30 a.m.: Shrewsbury, Mass. — northeast of Worcester — has racked up 26.2 inches of snow, and is now in the lead for largest snow total in New England.
Update at 9:20 a.m.: As the center of the nor’easter hovers off the coast of Massachusetts, a wide and heavy band of snow — and associated whiteout conditions — is parked from Lowell, Mass., south through Rhode Island.
Here’s what it looks like in that snow band:
Update at 9:02 a.m.: An update from the National Weather Service illustrates what New Yorkers can expect. These are storm total snowfalls — so Central Park could see another 4 inches or so, which would make a final total of 10 inches on the high end of the forecast. The eastern boroughs will see a little more — Queens has already accumulated as much as 11 inches, and Brooklyn has seen six.
Update at 8:35 a.m.: Snow totals are growing rapidly now that people in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are waking up to measure what has fallen in their front yards. While the east-tracking storm failed to meet expectations from Philadelphia to New York, the forecast has verified from Long Island to Massachusetts, and the snow continues to fall.
Worcester, Mass. — 25 inches
Mattituck, N.Y. — 24.8 inches
Islip Airport, N.Y. — 20.9 inches
Killingly, Conn. — 20 inches
North Chelsmford, Mass. — 20 inches
Clinton, Mass. — 20.5 inches
Falmouth, Mass. — 19 inches
South Plymouth, Mass. — 18 inches
West Glocester, R.I. — 16.6 inches
Essex, Conn. — 15.5 inches
Boston, Mass. — 14.5 inches
Massapequa, N.Y. — 14.2 inches
Taunton, Mass. — 14 inches
La Guardia, N.Y. — 11 inches
Providence, R.I. — 10 inches
Update at 7:25 a.m.: Big snow drifts and whiteout conditions continue to plague eastern Massachusetts. Thousands are without power on Nantucket and coastal flooding has become hazardous.
Update at 7:10 a.m.: Snow accumulation might be a bust in New York, but this storm is a “bulls eye” for New England. Satellite imagery shows the strongest, snowiest part of the nor’easter pushing across New England this morning.
Update at 7:03 a.m.: A few peak snow totals thus far.
Barnstable County — 18 inches
Worcester County — 18 inches
Plymouth County — 15.8 inches
Middlesex County — 14 inches
Bristol County — 12.5 inches
Hampden County — 12 inches
Hartford County — 13.8 inches
Windham County — 13 inches
Tolland County — 11.5 inches
Rockingham County — 12.6 inches
Hillsborough County — 10.5 inches
Update at 6:50 a.m.: Thundersnow reported in eastern Massachusetts as some of the heaviest snow of the storm pushes ashore. Strong winds are creating incredible snow drifts as far north as New Hampshire.
Meanwhile, in New York…
Update at 6:32 a.m.: Heavy snow bands with snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are tracking across eastern Massachusetts this morning. “We’re in the heart of the storm,” says WBZ’s Eric Fisher.
Update at 6:26 a.m.: A few more details on New York City. Just 6.3 inches has fallen in Central Park since snow started on Monday afternoon. Queens has seen as much as 10.1 inches, and Brooklyn has totaled 4.3 inches. The snow increases to the east — Islip Airport has accumulated 18.2 inches of snow and Nassau County has seen 14.2.
The National Weather Service is now only expecting another 2 to 4 inches of snow in the city on Tuesday.
Heavy snow and whipping winds have spread across southern New England in the overnight hours. Over a foot of snow has fallen in parts of eastern Massachusetts, and wind gusts climbed to as high as 78 mph on Nantucket just after midnight.
As much as 18 inches has fallen on Long Island, though after unimpressive overnight snow, New York City itself will likely see totals on the low end of their forecasts. The National Weather Service explains this change on their Facebook page:
The storm has moved further east and will be departing faster than our forecasts of the past two days. The result is much less snow than previously predicted for the western half of our region. The heaviest of the snow will be over Long Island and southern Connecticut with lighter snow elsewhere through the morning hours.
The science of forecasting storms, while continually improving, still can be subject to error, especially if we’re on the edge of the heavy precipitation shield. Efforts, including research, are already underway to more easily communicate that forecast uncertainty.
In addition to the lower snow totals, the blizzard warning has also been canceled for the N.Y.C. metro, but continues until midnight on Long Island and 1 a.m. in southern Connecticut.
We’ll have updates on the storm through the day.