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Posted at 1:45 PM ET, 01/12/2011

Snowstorm blasts New York, buries Boston

By Andrew Freedman

GOES satellite image of blizzard over New England. Source: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory.

The storm that brought a quick shot of snow, sleet and freezing rain to the Washington, D.C. area last night has, as expected, transformed itself into a full-fledged blizzard that is hammering southern New England today. Unlike the so-called "Boxing Day Blizzard" in late December, this storm sped past Philadelphia and New York City like an Amtrak Acela train, dropping 5.2 inches of snow in Philly, and 9.1 in. in the Big Apple.

The snow arrived in New York shortly before 9:00 pm last night, and heavy snow fell throughout the night. However, in what must be every school kid's worst nightmare, the snow stopped falling early enough this morning for the city's school system to remain open.

Mayor Bloomberg, who was wounded politically by the city's poor snow removal performance in the December 26th blizzard, which dumped nearly two feet on the city, sent out an army of snowplows this time. Instead of quieting the city, the snow actually seemed to make it louder, with the steady roar of snowblowers, salt and sand trucks, as well as the ubiquitous plows coursing through the streets of midtown last night at about 11 pm.

Here's how the New York Times described the storm this morning:

For New Yorkers with still-fresh memories of the after-Christmas blizzard that paralyzed the city and left some streets unplowed for days, the latest snow seemed to be much ado about -- not nothing, but less than had been expected.

After just two major storms, the city has likely surpassed its average seasonal snowfall total of 28.4 inches.

surface map this morning.gif
Surface map as of 10 a.m. this morning showing deep low pressure off coast of New England. The tightly packed lines of equal pressure (isobars) indicate very strong winds over the region.

As the coastal storm moved northward off the New Jersey coast, it strengthened rapidly, growing into a gale center that sliced right across the eastern part of Long Island and through Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts. This has brought very strong winds to southeast Massachusetts, with numerous reports of downed trees and power lines in the Boston area. On Nantucket island, winds have gusted as high as 61 mph.

A blizzard warning is in effect through 8 pm in Boston, due to the combination of heavy snow and winds that are reducing visibilities to below ¼ mile at times. Needless to say, air travel to and from Boston is not a good idea today. In fact, Amtrak service has been suspended between New York and Boston, due to damaged power lines from fallen trees, according to the Boston Globe.

Snow total prediction for eastern New England from National Weather Service.

So far, parts of Connecticut, northwestern Rhode Island, and interior Massachusetts have received at least two feet of snow, with Newtown, Connecticut reporting 27 inches. Along the immediate coast near Boston, amounts have been a little lower since temperatures for the first part of the storm hovered just above freezing, resulting in a heavy, wet, pasty snow that was slower to accumulate.

For snow lovers who were not satisfied by last night's event in DC, here are photos from New York, and Boston.

By Andrew Freedman  | January 12, 2011; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Freedman, Latest, U.S. Weather, Winter Storms  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Why was there ice before snow Tues. night?
Next: PM Update: Cold and windy through Thursday


This is only adding fuel to the already full disappointment tank.

Posted by: smperk | January 12, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@ BobMiller

Are you an insurance adjuster by chance?

Wow, that's one pretty impressive storm. We will inevitably get our turn again at some point. :) Hoping we get one decent snowfall this winter..wish there was something we could do to make it a sure thing, but then it wouldn't be nearly as much fun to watch as it all unfolds.

Posted by: rudy1481 | January 12, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I've a large contigent of friends in the NYC and Albany metro areas, and that's led to numerous texts and phone calls these past few weeks telling me to "knock it off!" Mostly in not so polite verbage...

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

is there going to be a 6 inch or more storm before the end of the winter?


Posted by: SNOWLUVER | January 12, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse


Nobody can predict that...

Posted by: weatherdude | January 12, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Picture is actually funny, look at Virginia and see the green. Any chance we see some snow in the near future. Just so I can get prepared, is all the storms going to do the same thing?

Posted by: dannythe357 | January 12, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

And it's about time too - we've had an open winter so far. Here in north central Mass, it's still coming down, it's about 22 degrees, and I'm seeing that we're supposed to get 21.9 inches. Fantastic. Beautiful cold dry snow, and the wind is shaping it nicely. New England is good!

Posted by: AMac1 | January 12, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Another storm that hits places to our northeast hard…Looking back at snowfall records for the mid atlantic seems like over the past decade or so places to the Northeast have gotten relatively snowier. For instance looking at IAD data it seems that until the mid 90s BWI, PHL (both of which average less snow than IAD) have been snowier (relative to average) than IAD during the same timeframe. You can use the same comparison for DCA and ACY. Has there been a shift in the pattern so that areas to the Northeast of DC get hit harder than places to the west of DC like IAD and the Shenandoah valley (which seem to be the center of the nation’s snow hole) that were historically snowier?

Posted by: lobp | January 12, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

This article gives me a sad. :( I used to live in Worcester and we never got snow like this then.

Posted by: HappyArmyWife | January 12, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Hartford (Windsor Locks) has broken the all time snowfall record for a day/snowstorm going back to 1905 and it's still snowing. Looks like the CT daily snowfall record of 30" could be in jeapordy too when all is said and done. I lived there for almost a decade and don't recall any storms in my time that dropped so much (20-30") across most of the state.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Enjoyed those pictures even if it was a painful salt to the no snow wound to the heart.

Frustrated by the warmer temps next week that come with our moisture, but what can you do? One over 5 inch storm sure would be nice...

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 12, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

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