(WWLP) – The National Weather Service says the snowstorm that dumped more than two feet of snow on parts of Massachusetts was indeed a blizzard, but a very short distance made a very big difference in terms of wind speed and snowfall.
A blizzard is defined as a snowstorm in which visibility is reduced to less than ¼ of a mile, with winds gusting over 35 miles per hour for a period of time of three hours or longer. In several locations along coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island, these conditions were indeed met. In fact, in Marshfield, Massachusetts, blizzard conditions were present for more than 14 hours. At high tide in that South Shore town, the sea wall was breached; sending water from Massachusetts Bay crashing onto seaside homes. Those houses are now encased in ice.
Here in western Massachusetts, we never saw blizzard conditions, and snowfall totals were far less than those to our east. Springfield saw 7” of snow, while 42 miles away in Worcester, they received an all-time record of 34.5”. Boston received its all-time record snowfall for the month of January with 24.4”, while 31” fell northwest of the city in Lowell.
Play the video to see Nick Bannin explain the reason behind the wide difference in snowfall totals over such a short distance.