A Nor’easter Is Headed for the Boston Area

Meteorologists predict coastal flooding and erosion along the Massachusetts shore are likely.

The Boston skyline on a foggy day

Photo via iStock/sorsillo

Updated at 11:40 a.m. on March 1: The nor’easter headed for New England is poised to pack a punch in eastern Massachusetts. Meteorologists from the National Weather Service in Taunton predict “very significant coastal flooding” and “hurricane force wind gusts” on Friday evening across the Cape and islands. The scientists said on Twitter the storm presents “a LIFE & DEATH situation” for coastal residents. Roads along the shore may be rendered impassable, with flood waters forecasted to reach up to 3 feet high.

Wind gusts could hit 75 miles per hour in Provincetown and 64 miles per hour in Boston, according to the meteorologists. The wind levels expected in the Cape and islands are strong enough to cause widespread power outages and property damage.

Previously: Enjoy today’s mild temperatures and sunshine, because Massachusetts may be in for a nor’easter by the end of the week.

According to the National Weather Service in Taunton, we could endure a doozy of a system starting on Thursday night, complete with damaging winds, heavy precipitation, and major flooding along the coast. The risk of a large snow event in greater Boston “is quite low,” meteorologists said on Twitter, and the “greatest concern is coastal flooding” in eastern Massachusetts from Friday through Saturday. The anticipated severity of the storm is still being calculated, but forecasters said on Twitter they would have a better idea of the impact by Wednesday afternoon.

A coastal flood watch has been issued for the eastern part of the state from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon, and forecasters are confident that there will be at least some moderate flooding and significant beach erosion as a result of the storm. The storm poses the most extreme threat to mariners, with life-threatening waves that could swell to 35 feet and wind gusts that could reach over 60 mph. Meteorologists also said damaging winds and fresh water flooding is possible, and there is a chance—particularly in hilly, mountainous areas—that the rain will turn to snow, though the probability of the transition is uncertain.

The storm is expected to affect the entire Acela corridor, stretching from Washington, D.C., through New England. Meteorologists predict the system will dump snow in the Midwest before changing over to a coastal storm. Because the nor’easter coincides with a full moon and the higher-than-average tides that come with it, coastal flooding and erosion could be a greater concern, according to the Washington Post.