States of emergency have been declared in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. In New York City, the subway system will shut down completely at 11 p.m. Monday night – the first time this has ever happened because of a blizzard. Previous subway shutdowns due to weather have…
States of emergency have been declared in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. In New York City, the subway system will shut down completely at 11 p.m. Monday night – the first time this has ever happened because of a blizzard. Previous subway shutdowns due to weather have occurred in recent years only for tropical storms: Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012. Statewide travel bans will go into effect around the same time for Connecticut and Massachusetts. Private vehicles will also be banned from all roads in Long Island and New York City.
Snowflakes are already coming fast and furiously throughout the Northeast, with snowfall rates expected to peak from 10 p.m. Monday through much of Tuesday. In New York City, the latest National Weather Service update hints a bit more strongly that this storm could overperform there, saying, “it should be a raging blizzard.” Although official forecasts say 20-30 inches for the city, a top-end scenario of three feet is still possible, which could break the city’s all-time single storm snowfall record (dating back to 1869) by 5 to 10 inches.
In an epic and at times even giddy technical forecast discussion, the NWS office in Boston warned of an “unprecedented” storm. The storm’s central pressure will explosively deepen on Tuesday, at a rate twice that of a “bomb” cyclone. Invoking the technical term for rapid strengthening of these kinds of storms, the NWS forecaster exclaimed, “it’s bombogenesis, baby!” The NWS Boston office also alternately referred to the storm as “historic” and “crippling.”
For New England, there may be two separate intense snowfall bands, one in Western Connecticut and one just south of Boston. Exactly where those bands end up will determine which areas receive the most snowfall, but isolated totals exceeding three feet won’t be surprising.
Winds throughout the entire region – gusting at times to 50 mph – will produce whiteout conditions for much of the day Tuesday. Isolated gusts in excess of hurricane force (75 mph) could be possible along the Massachusetts coastline.