It’s still two days away, but weather forecasters are already sounding the alarm about a snowstorm headed our way on Friday that could the the largest since Boxing Day in 2010.
The storm is forecasted to arrive two days after the 35th anniversary of the Blizzard of 1978. While Friday’s storm will be nowhere near the legendary storm in the late 70s, it could bring a foot of snow and be the largest storm to hit the area since the day after Christmas in 2010.
“I think it's time to prepare for the biggest storm since December 26th and 27th of 2010,” WHDH-TV chief meteorologist Pete Bouchard writes in his latest blog post. “For the snow hounds, your ship might have finally come in.”
Bouchard said there are several factors that lead him to forecast a large storm, including the cold air that is in place and “there is a tremendous amount of energy shooting into the storm”
Additionally, past storm that included forecasts for 6-9 inches and ended with less than an inch of snow because those storms lacked moisture, he said. This storm, Bouchard said, has more moisture. That being said, he notes he “bears the scars” of some botched forecasts earlier this winter and said it is unlikely to be a blizzard, noting in the winter of 2010-11 this storm may have simply been “run-of-the-mill.”
At least six inches of snow is expected to accumulate.
The one caveat – snow totals may be lower along the immediate coast, possibly including parts of Hamilton and Wenham.
On Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service was agreeing and issued a winter storm watch at 4:18 a.m. that includes Hamilton and Wenham plus much of eastern Massachusetts starting at 1 a.m. on Friday and running until Saturday morning.
The storm is expected to start on Thursday evening and last until early Saturday.
“There is the potential that the storm may linger into the day on Saturday,” the weather service said.
In addition to falling snow, though, the winds will gust causing blowing and drifting snow. The weather service said the wind will blow at 10-20 miles per hour with stronger gusts possible.