Western Mass. preparing for bigger winter storm

Next winter storm could bring over a foot of snow to western Massachusetts.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – After a winter storm on Saturday, western Massachusetts is already preparing for another one.

The weather on Sunday cooperated very nicely for residents still cleaning up from Saturday’s storm which brought close to half a foot of snow to the lower Pioneer Valley.

With a bigger storm on the way for early this week, anticipation is already growing.

“Now it’s going to all come. February is a snow month and I can’t wait…I went to the grocery store and picked up a few items. Getting ready to maybe stay home from work,” said Debora Labonte from Chicopee.

Along parts of the New England coastline they’re preparing for a blizzard.

In order for a storm to be considered a true blizzard very specific conditions need to be met and that’s usually very difficult to do far away from the coast like in western Massachusetts.

A blizzard:

  1. Must have sustained or frequent winds of at least 35 miles per hour with
  2. Falling or blowing snow frequently reducing visibility to 1 quarter mile or less.
  3. These conditions must last for at least 3 hours

Blizzard or not we are looking for a hefty snowstorm in New England.

The biggest snow storm we’ve ever had was in the last 70 years was in 1949 where we had 22 inches of snow in the lower Pioneer Valley.

More recently our mid January storm in 2011 brought 19 inches of snow making it our 4th biggest storm.

Top 5 Snow Storms in the past 70 Years in the lower Pioneer Valley:

  1. Feb 28-Mar 1, 1949: 22″
  2. Feb 15-16, 1958: 20″
  3. Feb 5, 2001: 19.4″
  4. Jan 12, 2011: 19″
  5. Jan 7-8, 1996: 18.8″

Even if this storm isn’t as big, people are still getting ready, like Rich Longhi in Chicopee who raked the snow off his roof Saturday.

“They’re all the same kind of when they get over a foot. It’s a mess and you’ve got to be careful,” said Longhi.

What started out as a low snow winter may soon be a thing of the past.

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