Winter storm update: Massive nor'easter could drop 36 inches in spots...oh Shit!
The warnings take effect at 6 a.m. Friday and run through 1 p.m. The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as at least three hours of winds blowing at 35 miles an hour or higher with falling or blowing snow cutting visibility to a quarter of a mile or less.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service expect snowfall to range from 18 to 24 inches through the vast majority of areas covered by the warning. But some spots could receiving as much as 36 inches from the most intense pockets of precipitation embedded in the storm.
Currently, the forecast for Friday and Saturday includes winds of 30 to 40 miles an hour, with gusts up to 65 miles an hour. Off the coast, those winds are expected to whip up waves averaging 30 feet high, although individual waves could top 60 feet.
Damage from the '78 blizzard reached $520 million at the time, or nearly $2 billion in 2012 dollars. Some 2,000 homes were damaged, many of them along a coastline experiencing a powerful storm surge on top of a spring tide, when moon and sun line up with respect to Earth in a way that increases the height of high tide and decreases the height of low tide. The Red Cross put the death toll at from that storm at 99 people.