Reports: Record-setting blizzard buries New England in over a foot of snow, brings travel to a halt
By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
January 05, 2018, 2:57:15 AM EST
As of 3:00 a.m. EST Friday, the reports below are no longer being updated. Click here for a recap of the snowstorm.
A powerful nor'easter continues to spread heavy snow and strong winds across New England with blizzard conditions bringing travel to a halt across the region.
The storm first hit the southeastern coast of the United States with heavy snow and ice on Wednesday before moving up the coast and bringing blizzard conditions to part of the northeastern U.S. on Thursday.
"An eye has developed in the storm," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
Powerful winds over 75 mph have been reported in coastal areas in Massachusetts, while blizzard conditions have forced airport closures in New York City. Power outages are increasing in New England and coastal areas are being inundated with severe flooding.
1:00 a.m. EST Friday:
A record-setting snowfall was set in Bangor, Maine, on Thursday as 18.3 inches of snow buried the city. This crushed the old daily record of 8.5 inches set in 2003.
Caribou, Maine, also received record snowfall on Thursday. The 13 inches that piled up broke the 1988 daily record of 10.5 inches.
11:00 p.m. EST Thursday:
As the snowstorm continues to sweep northeastward, the heaviest snow is now confined to Maine. Bangor has reported visibility of 0.25 of a mile since 9:00 p.m. EST Thursday. Winds have gusted as high as 42 mph in the city.
9:37 p.m. EST Thursday:
Snow has come to an end across much of the Northeast with the heaviest snow from the powerful nor'easter focusing on northern and eastern Maine.
Many areas in eastern New England measured over a foot of snow, including Boston.
8:41 p.m. EST Thursday:
Flights from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport are set to resume at 7 a.m. EST Friday after wind and snow caused many flights from the airport on Thursday to be canceled.
Travelers should continue to monitor their flight status on Friday as there may be lingering delays even after the storm has ended.
Flights scheduled to resume at JFK Airport at 7 a.m. Friday, after today’s suspension of operations due to exceedingly strong winds and blowing snow. Fliers are urged to contact their airlines for information on resumption of specific flights before going to the airport.— Kennedy Airport (@JFKairport) January 5, 2018
8:20 p.m. EST Thursday:
The National Guard has been mobilized across the Northeast in response to the blizzard, according to Reuters.
Snow is tapering off across much of New England as the heaviest snow shifts northward into northern Maine and Canada.
Over a foot of snow has accumulated in Boston with higher amounts just outside of the city. This includes 16.9 inches in Lexington, Massachusetts.
7:07 p.m. EST Thursday:
Some of the strongest wind gusts associated with the nor’easter have been recorded across Nova Scotia as the center of the storm nears Atlantic Canada.
Grand Etang, Nova Scotia, has recorded the highest wind gust across the region with a peak wind gust of 106 mph (170 km/h).
7:00 p.m. EST Thursday:
Over one foot of snow has been measured in many areas in southern Maine west of Interstate 95, according to National Weather Service trained spotters. Areas around Augusta and Portland, Maine, have received between 8 and 12 inches of snow with locally higher amounts.
6:49 p.m. EST Thursday:
Although the snow has stopped in most of the mid-Atlantic, the winds continue to howl, blowing snow and creating snow drifts.
Some of these drifts have become big enough to bury cars along the street in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
6:10 p.m. EST Thursday:
Snowfall accumulations over 12 inches are widespread across eastern Massachusetts with some locations closing in on 20 inches. Heavy snow continues to fall across the area and will add to these snow totals into Thursday night.
5:05 p.m. EST Thursday:
Sustained wind gusts of 35 miles per hour were recorded in New Jersey. Severe winds associated with the blizzard are strong enough to down trees and power lines.
The video below shows winds taking down a gas station canopy in Garfield, New Jersey.
There are 1,417 JCP&L customers affected by power outages in New Jersey.
4:41 p.m. EST Thursday:
Over 4,000 flights have been canceled at airports across the northeastern United States, according to Flightstats. This includes both arriving and departing flights. Cancellations at Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia Airport accounted for almost half of this number.
As of Thursday afternoon, LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Long Island Mac Arthur Airport were all closed due to snow, according to the FAA.
4:00 p.m. EST Thursday:
Officials with the MBTA Transit Police posted a video of the rising tide spilling into the harbor side entrance of the Aquarium subway station.
The worst of the coastal flooding is over; however, the water will be slow to drain due to some of the water freezing as temperatures plummet.
Aquarium Station earlier today. Water gushing in from street side. pic.twitter.com/dwOArHmB6H— MBTA Transit Police (@MBTATransitPD) January 4, 2018
3:22 p.m. EST Thursday:
Taunton, Massachusetts, has recorded 14.6 inches of snow so far, according to a National Weather Service employee. This is one of the highest snow reports so far with the town continuing to experience heavy snow. Taunton is located south of Boston.
Coastal flooding continues to be a major issue for locations near the coast with water being nearly deep enough to submerge cars in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Picture of Snow Storm influenced High Tide at the high school in Gloucester, MA. Wow! pic.twitter.com/upV96Q0NDL— Carolinas RISA (@CarolinasRISA) January 4, 2018
2:48 p.m. EST Thursday:
The National Guard is responding to the coastal flooding in Marshfield, Massachusetts, after people became trapped in a home when waves came through their living room windows.
Brandt Rock Marshfield. National Guard attempting to rescue people trapped in home on Ocean St after waves came through living room windows pic.twitter.com/Jy5IpylJvg— David Robichaud (@RobiWBZ) January 4, 2018
2:06 p.m. EST Thursday:
“As of noon, the current storm had a central pressure of 28.08 inches (951 mb) and was more intense than the 1991 Perfect Storm and the Blizzard of 1993," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Jesse Ferrell.
"These storms had pressures of 28.70 inches (972 mb) and 28.34 inches (960 mb) respectively,” Ferrell added.
1:45 p.m. EST Thursday:
Severe flooding on Boston’s Atlantic Avenue and other areas of the city has prompted a large emergency response.
Emergency management personnel are rescuing motorists with boats after historic high tide left the area under water. The National Weather Service Boston reported the area was nearing the highest ever recorded tide.
Just outside the Boston garden causeway st pic.twitter.com/y07b1uMEVv— dan k (@dankoz6902) January 4, 2018
We appear to be near the record high water level in #Boston. However, it is within a few tenths of an inch and this will need to be confirmed with the NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) @noaaocean before we can confirm or deny whether the record was tied or broken pic.twitter.com/CHiTM6kJ9Z— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) January 4, 2018
Barnstable Harbor gone crazy!!! pic.twitter.com/KrP2sZ0J8M— Charles Orloff (@charlesorloff) January 4, 2018
1:00 p.m. EST Thursday:
According to the Duxbury Fire Department in Duxbury, Massachusetts, roads near Cable Hill Road are completely impassable.
Roads in other coastal areas of New England are also impassable due to rising tides.
Beach blizzard 2018 tide came hard and fast headed to higher ground pic.twitter.com/jzUZYkvyz9— Lisa Adams (@Adamslisa3) January 4, 2018
12:30 p.m. EST Thursday: The storm system blasted Nova Scotia, Canada, causing a vehicle to flip over due to slick roads.
A vehicle flipped outbound on Hwy 101 at Exit 3, landing in a ditch. Use extreme caution passing by as this highway is extremely slick pic.twitter.com/pVIVbSDPTu— Halifax Traffic (@hfxtraffic) January 4, 2018
12:24 p.m. EST Thursday:
"The heaviest snow is currently tapering off in Philadelphia, so expect improving conditions this afternoon, though blowing and drifting snow will continue," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards.
"New York City and Long Island will experience blizzard conditions through mid-afternoon with snowfall rates at 1-2 inches per hour and near-zero visibility. Boston is also experiencing blizzard conditions with the heaviest snow and worst conditions expected to occur there through sunset."
Edwards added that thundersnow has been reported around Boston as well.
11:52 a.m. EST Thursday:
Due to blizzard conditions, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City was closed at 10:57 a.m. EST today. The airport is expected to reopen later today at 3 p.m. EST, the FAA reports.
Snow totals of 8 inches in Queens and 9 inches in Long Island have been reported by National Weather Service spotters as snow continues to fall.
Flights at LaGuardia Airport have been temporarily suspended due to high winds and heavy snow that have significantly reduced visibility. Fliers should contact their airlines for information about resumption of flights.— LaGuardia Airport (@LGAairport) January 4, 2018
10:53 a.m. EST Thursday:
Over 3,000 trucks are out clearing snow and treating roadways in Massachusetts.
Powerful wind gusts of up to 76 mph and 75 mph have been reported on Nantucket and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, respectively.
The NHL game between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers, originally scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, has been postponed.
This image from the Connecticut Department of Transportation shows a snowy stretch of Interstate 91 near exit 33 in Hartford.
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said over 630 plow trucks and 250 additional trucks from private contractors are available to help remove snow. An additional 1,500 guardsmen from the state's National Guard are ready to support emergency operations if necessary.
9:43 a.m. EST Thursday:
"The storm has undergone rapid strengthening, referred to as bombogenesis, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "Pressure within the center of the storm crashed 0.95 of an inch of mercury (32 millibars) in nine hours from late Wednesday evening to near daybreak Thursday."
8:53 a.m. EST Thursday:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency for four coastal counties and is urging motorists to stay off the roads.
Declaring state of emergency in Cape May, Atlantic, Ocean & Monmouth Counties. All state offices will now be closed. Please stay off the roads and stay sheltered and warm.— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) January 4, 2018
8:07 a.m. EST Thursday:
A snow emergency went into effect for Boston at 7 a.m. Thursday, with snow already falling in the city. The city is expected to receive around a foot of snow by the time the storm concludes.
The Massachusetts State Police said a speed reduction is now in effect between the New York border and Boston.
7:26 a.m. EST Thursday:
Snowy and icy travel is being reported around Long Island and New York City as snow continues to spread north.
#SIFerry Alert: Due to reduced visibility as a result of the snow storm, the #StatenIslandFerry will be running on a modified schedule during the morning rush with #SIFerry service every 20 minutes. pic.twitter.com/JFNPlueqXi— NYC DOT (@NYC_DOT) January 4, 2018
5:50 a.m. EST Thursday:
Traffic accidents, power outages and downed trees and power lines are being reported in areas from Washington, D.C., through Philadelphia, New York City and Hartford, Connecticut.
Residents are reminded to call 9-1-1 to report any downed power lines and to avoid them completely.
Bands of snow are beginning to strengthen as they sweep into the mid-Atlantic, resulting in high snowfall rates, quickly accumulating snow and poor visibility.
These factors will make travel perilous today as road conditions deteriorate quickly across the region.
Coastal areas from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to Monmouth, New Jersey, are reporting visibility as low as one-half to one-quarter mile due to heavy snow.
Where heavy snow is falling in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania, visibility is down to 1 mile.
Travel will continue to be dangerous across New England, much of the mid-Atlantic and eastern New York today and should be avoided as much as possible.
Hundreds of school districts have canceled school for the day from the Carolinas through the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. In Washington, D.C., even the federal government is running on a two-hour delay.
3:50 a.m. EST Thursday:
Snow is now falling along coastal New Jersey, Long Island, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts, limiting visibility and slowing traffic.
Just inland from Atlantic City, New Jersey, snowfall rates of 2 inches per hour were reported in the town of Mays Landing around 2:30 a.m.
Half of a foot of snow has been measured near Virginia Beach, where heavy snow is still falling. Nearly 20,000 customers are currently without power in the area.
Winds are starting to pick up in these areas as well, with widespread gusts to over 35 mph from the Outer Banks to the Jersey shore.
Flights in and out of the Northeast are being canceled and delayed; anyone planning travel in the area should check with their airline for up-to-date information.
AP News reports that a train has derailed in Savannah, Georgia, where a rare 0.23 of an inch of snow and ice accumulated on Wednesday.
“All three cars — a baggage car and two sleeper cars — are fully upright,” Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said in an email early Thursday to The Associated Press.
He said there were no injuries among the 311 passengers and crew on board.
2:00 a.m. EST Thursday:
Locations across the southeastern U.S. broke low temperature and snowfall records on Wednesday, and this wintry weather is now well on its way to the Northeast.
Snow has reportedly began falling in Philadelphia, marking the first flakes of a potential 6-inch snow event.
At least a coating of snow is expected tonight from Richmond, Virginia, to Baltimore and Allentown, Pennsylvania, quickly limiting visibility and making roads slick. Travel will become dangerous at the onset of snowy weather across the region through Thursday and should be avoided.
Wind gusts of nearly 50 mph were reported in Oceana, Virginia, this evening, and gusts are exceeding 35 mph in Ocean City, Maryland, at this hour.
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