Boston Expected to Experience “Near-Blizzard Conditions”

The National Weather Service predicts the nor'easter headed for Massachusetts will bring heavy snow.

A snowy street lined with brick buildings

Photo by Madeline Billis

Updated at 12:37 p.m. on March 12: 

A blizzard warning has been issued for parts of coastal Massachusetts, as the National Weather Service expects wind speeds to top 35 miles per hour and visibility to drop below a quarter-mile for a “prolonged period of time.” Meteorologists warn that 65 mile per hour gusts will result in blowing snow and whiteout conditions in coastal Essex County, Plymouth County, the Cape, and Martha’s Vineyard. The bump up from a winter storm to a blizzard is determined by wind strength, not snow accumulation.

Previously: No one told the weather that three’s a crowd.

The third nor’easter in less than two weeks is set to arrive with a vengeance in Boston late Monday night, and meteorologists predict the city will see 12 to 18 inches of snow by Tuesday evening. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning from 11 p.m. Monday to 8 p.m. Tuesday in eastern Massachusetts, and forecasters anticipate the affected area will experience “near-blizzard conditions.”

If you were hoping for a snow day, this storm might just grant your wish: Meteorologists predict the Tuesday morning commute will be severely impacted by the storm, and visibility could be reduced to less than a quarter of a mile. According to the National Weather Service, “travel will be very difficult to impossible,” tomorrow morning, and the storm could linger long enough to throw the evening rush into disarray as well.

All of southern New England is forecasted to experience heavy snowfall as a result of the nor’easter, with precipitation falling at a rate of 1 to 3 inches per hour. Minor coastal flooding—particularly in eastern Massachusetts and Nantucket—is also possible, and scientists predict damaging winds will barrel into the eastern and southern coastline on Tuesday morning.

Though the storm brings “hazardous wind and sea conditions,” power outages are likely to be limited in comparison to the last two storms. Because of the weather hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents have been plunged into the dark at some point this month, and more than 11,000 people were still without electricity on Saturday, according to CBS Boston. The National Weather Service predicts that though this storm could bring winds gusts of up to 65 miles per hour, “power outages should NOT be nearly as widespread as our past two storms.”

Travel during the storm will be “very hazardous,” according to the National Weather Service. If you absolutely have to go outdoors, meteorologists recommend keeping emergency supplies like flashlights, food, and water in your car just in case.