After the blizzard, the big chill hits as East Coast digs out
The East Coast is being plunged into deep freeze by falling temperatures and gusty winds. This has happened after an intense nor’easter, which dumped snow mounds on coastlines and cut off power to thousands of people.
After the snowstorm that swept through the area, wind chills were dangerously low in several areas. New York City and Philadelphia received plenty of snow. However, Massachusetts suffered the most from the storm. Sharon saw more than 30 inches (76 cms) of accumulation before the storm left.
As the wind continued to rage, over 100,000 people lost power in Massachusetts. This made it difficult for crews to repair overhead lines. Other states did not experience widespread power outages.
Cape Cod in Massachusetts saw winds gusting up to 83 miles per hour (134 kph). In some places, it swept through the soil and dumped snow in large drifts on others. Video posted to social media shows coastal communities being inundated by the wind and waves that battered North Weymouth (south of Boston), flooding streets with a torrent of cold water. Another video showed Nantucket streets submerged and the waves hitting windows in Plymouth buildings.
In Boston, forecasters were on the lookout for snowfall records. In 2003, the Boston region’s snowfall record was 27.6 inches (70 cmimeters).
Protect yourself from snow and wind blowing during white-out conditions when Winter Storm Kenan hits Boston on January 29, 2022.
Scott Eisen | Getty Images
On Saturday, the city set a record for largest single-day snowfall with 23.6 inches (60 cms), according to National Weather Service.
Jesse Ledin is a Boston resident who owns a start-up home-goods renting business. As he navigated through the snowdrifts, he was wearing ski goggles.
The winds can reach speeds up to 70 miles (112 kilometers) per hour. The depth is quite high due to the wind and snowdrifts. However, the weather can be very bad out, and it would not make it safe for me to drive. It’s great to be able walk in these massive snowdrifts, even though it is quite difficult,” Ledin stated.
Atmospheric researchers believe that climate change and the warmer ocean likely influenced the storm’s strength.
Jason Furtado from the University of Oklahoma said ocean temperatures that are warmer “are certain to play a role in strengthening of the storm systems and increased moisture for the storm.” It is not the only factor.
Two things saved the storm: The dry snow was less likely to snap trees or rip down power lines and it occurred on a weekend when few commuters were available and schools were closed.
There were parts of 10 US states that received blizzard warnings, including New Hampshire (Massachusetts), Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
A woman pulls out her car from the snow in Stony Brook during a snowstorm that hit New York on January 29, 2022.
Andrew Theodorakis| Getty Images
A storm is considered a blizzard by the National Weather Service if there’s snowfall, blowing snow or winds that exceed 35 mph (56 km/h), and visibility of less than a quarter mile for at least 3 hours. Many areas met these criteria on Saturday.
Rhode Island banned any non-emergency travel.
Hardy New Englanders embraced the storm with grace
Dave McGillivray was the race director of the Boston Marathon. He invited everyone to his home in suburban Boston on Saturday to receive a complimentary snowshoeing clinic.
He said, “I will supply the driveway and several walkways so that your training takes place in the most realistic setting.”
Washington, Baltimore and other areas received some snow, but they were mostly spared. On Sunday, the worst nor’easter would blow into Canada. Warnings had been issued for several Canadian provinces.