Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Amazing storm off New England coast

Remember that big winter storm that some meteorologists thought we might get in the Carolinas yesterday?

It never came together, as we all know, but it certainly got itself organized farther to the north. The storm has turned into a meteorological bomb off the New England coast, and it appears likely to deliver quite a wallop to Canada's Maritime Provinces.

One piece of energy that went into this amazing storm system dumped several inches of snow in North Carolina's mountains. I saw a 9-inch snowfall registered at Beech Mountain.

The main part of the energy stayed off the coast, and that spared the big cities along the Eastern Seaboard -- Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, New York and even Boston -- from damaging winds, coastal flooding and heavy snow. The only parts of the United States far enough east to feel the real impact of the storm were Nantucket Island and Cape Cod in Massachusetts and northeastern Maine.

Winds are strong enough around the low pressure system to cause flight delays in New York and Boston, but the reports from Nantucket and from eastern Maine have been something to behold.

This is basically a hurricane-force storm system. The central pressure at 1 p.m. was about 960 millibars. As WCNC-TV meteorologist Brad Panovich tweeted around midday, that pressure is deeper than any of our hurricanes last summer.

Some reports I've seen as of early Wednesday afternoon:

101 mph gust at a buoy off Johnston, Maine (there is some question about the reliability of this report).

91 mph gust at 11:40 a.m. at the Westmoor Club on Nantucket.

87 mph gust at Grand Etang, Nova Scotia.

Almost 10 inches of snow has fallen on Nantucket, and more than a foot is expected in northern coastal sections of Maine. More than that will fall in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

As you might imagine, it's not a good day for a boat ride in the Atlantic east of Maine and south of Nova Scotia. I've seen wave reports of 25 to 30 feet, but there certainly must be 40-foot waves there today.  It's like a scene out of "Perfect Storm."

Fortunately, this wasn't a Carolinas storm.


Pawtuckett Phil said...

There once was a storm off Nantucket,
Dumping snow there as if from a bucket.
Cantore flew up,
Butt he fell on his butt.
So he got back in the truck and said…