Windyty

Expect downed trees, massive waves, and widespread, lasting power outages.

Though many people are focused on the New England snowstorm's heavy accumulations—and rightly so, with more than two feet expected in places (see below)—there's a secondary threat looming: powerful, sustained winds roaring in from the coast, which are likely to knock down all kinds of stuff and cause widespread power outages.

The Boston office of the National Weather Service is warning locals that aside "from the snow forecast, wind will be just as bad. Expect strong to damaging winds downing trees, powerlines etc." This map of predicted maximum gusts through Wednesday morning shows why wind is such a big concern here: A large slice of coastline could get scoured by 60-plus mph blasts, with areas closest to the ocean experiencing hurricane-force violence in the high-70 mph range.

@NWSBoston

Winds of this magnitude can damage structures and fling objects through the air. (Take a moment now to secure the backyard trampoline before it becomes a car-bonking Frisbee.) They can also create jaw-dropping waves, as shown in this Boston-area footage from a nor'easter of similar power in February 2013. The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore says: "Expect more of this on the MA coast!"

As to what these all-powerful gusts will be carrying, have a look at the predicted snow accumulations through Tuesday night. The storm looks like it's dropping a bomb of perhaps 21 inches on Boston and New York, with even higher amounts possible to the west. It's easy to see why Massachusetts has banned travel throughout the state beginning at midnight:

NWS/Facebook

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a map comparing the sizes of several cities
    Maps

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  2. A woman looks straight at camera with others people and trees in background.
    Equity

    Why Pittsburgh Is the Worst City for Black Women, in 6 Charts

    Pittsburgh is the worst place for black women to live in for just about every indicator of livability, says the city’s Gender Equity Commission.

  3. a photo of a full parking lot with a double rainbow over it
    Transportation

    Parking Reform Will Save the City

    Cities that require builders to provide off-street parking trigger more traffic, sprawl, and housing unaffordability. But we can break the vicious cycle.   

  4. a photo rendering of "Siemensstadt 2.0" in Berlin
    Life

    Berlin’s Take on a High-Tech ‘Smart City’ Could Be Different

    The German company Siemens is launching an ambitious adaptive reuse project to revitalize its historic corporate campus, with a modern data-collecting twist.

  5. a photo of a woman on a SkyTrain car its way to the airport in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    Transportation

    In the City That Ride-Hailing Forgot, Change Is Coming

    Fears of congestion and a powerful taxi lobby have long kept ride-hailing apps out of transit-friendly Vancouver, British Columbia. That’s about to change.  

×