The snow has arrived to the New York City area as a powerful Nor’easter hitting the East Coast this weekend is already causing chaos for air travelers as more than 2,000 flights were grounded Friday, including most scheduled to take off or land at Boston’s Logan Airport.
Flurries had been affecting the New York Metropolitan Area all Friday but the flakes began to stick at around 8 p.m. Friday evening as part of what’s being called Winter Storm Kenan.
The East Coast is expecting winds ‘as powerful as the strongest hurricane’ and Bostonians could witness record snowfall as the extreme weather arriving Friday night will impact 75 million people from the Southeast up the coast to New England.
While most were hunkered indoors for the heavy snowfall and winds, some were still trying to walk their dogs and do some last minute shopping for supplies before things got really bad.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has warned New Yorkers not to travel and canceled outdoor dining and vaccine appointments on Saturday ahead of the powerful Nor’easter.
Boston’s Logan Airport has canceled most of its flights as the city braces for the worst snowstorm in its history to hit, as all the East Coast prepares for blizzard-like conditions, including up to two feet of snow and flooding in some areas.
Across the country, 2,252 flights were cancelled on Friday with 3,410 flights already cancelled for Saturday, according to FlightAware.
Manhattanites braved the falling snow late Friday evening as the winter storm warning goes into effect
FDNY members climb down from a truck as snow falls
One Brooklyn man still needed to get his dog out for the evening with the snow falling down
The conditions as the flakes began to fall under the Brooklyn Bridge Friday evening
Snow from Winter Storm Kenan is seen in Brooklyn
Brooklyn Bridge at night as a major snow storm bears down on New York City
The white stuff was already flying around New York City Friday evening as part of the potential ‘bomb cyclone’
Snow from Winter Storm Kenan is seen in Forest Hills, Queens
Heavy snow is predicted for much of New England, Long Island and the New Jersey shore and coastline
A Nor’easter is scheduled to arrive on the East Coast Friday night as much of the coast prepares for snow, high winds and coastal flooding
The worst of the storm is set to hit on Saturday with wintry weather persisting through the day
Cancelled flights at JFK Airport as a major snow storm bears down on New York City
Much of the New York Metropolitan Area could be seeing over a foot of snow according to most recent forecasts
Boston’s Logan Airport is filled with stranded travelers as hundreds of flights have been cancelled ahead of this weekend’s winter storm
Residents in Lynn, Massachusetts stocked up on groceries ahead of this weekend’s storm
A sand brim wall is put up to protect beach homes from storm waves in Winthrop, Massachusetts on Friday in preparation for the potential coastal flooding
The Boston airport has cancelled 19 out and 117 flights in for Friday and 301 flights out and 285 into the airport on Saturday, according to the flight tracking website.
American Airlines, United and Southwest have cancelled all of their Boston flights for Saturday with JetBlue cancelling 96 percent, Spirit cancelling 87% and Delta cancelling 65%, according to FlightAware.
New York airports, including John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia, have cancelled more than 400 flights in and out for Friday and over 1,200 flights arriving and departing on Saturday.
All airports should be in the clear by early Sunday morning.
‘This storm is likely to strengthen at a rate, and to an intensity, equivalent to only the most powerful hurricanes, so the high-end potential of this storm cannot be overstated,’ CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.
Top 10 Boston snowstorms recorded in a 2-day period
Feb. 18, 2003: 27.6 inches
Feb. 7, 1978: 27.1 inches
April 1, 1997: 25.4 inches
Feb. 9, 2013: 24.9 inches
Jan. 27, 2015: 24.4 inches
Feb. 17, 2003: 23.6 inches
Jan. 23, 2005: 22.5 inches
Jan. 28, 2015: 22.3 inches
Feb. 9, 2015: 22.2 inches
Jan. 21, 1978: 21.4 inches
‘But with nor’easters, like in real estate, it will all come down to location, location, location.’
The forecasts show that Boston may record its worst snowstorm in history. The major city is expected to receive about 18-24 inches of snow and wind gusts of 70 miles per hour were forecast starting on Saturday.
Southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the island of Martha’s Vineyard, were expected to get the highest snow totals.
If Boston gets hit with more than the 23.6 inches of snow in 24 hours, it will replace the 2003 Blizzard as the snowiest day in the city’s history.
The 2003 President’s Day Storm blizzard was a historic and record-breaking snowstorm all along the East coast with some cities receiving 30 inches of snow.
The snowfall will move into the top 10 snowiest days on record, if Boston sees more than 14.8 inches of snow in 24 hours.
If the city sees more than 24.6 inches of snow this weekend’s storm will become the snowiest since the record was set from the blizzard that hit from January 26 to January 28, 2015.
But Boston would need to report more than 27.6 inches within two days break that record.
Along with snow and heavy winds, forecasts are all expecting to see flooding in areas along the ocean.
‘Coastal flooding is a concern thanks to astronomically high tides on Saturday,’ the weather service office in Boston said.
‘The combination of strong northeast winds and high seas will bring storm surges that, if coinciding with high tide, would lead to minor or moderate coastal flooding.’
The National Weather Service (NWS) on Friday issued a blizzard warning for the Boston metropolitan area, which has a population of nearly 4.9 million residents.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has issued a ‘snow emergency’ which will being Friday at 9pm. ‘Residents are encouraged to stay home,’ she tweeted.
The first winter storm watches were issued for parts of eastern Massachusetts on Wednesday at 3pm — some 57 hours before they were set to go into effect at 12am on Saturday.
The city’s Transportation and Sanitation department has more than 38,000 tons of road salt and the ability to put more than 800 pieces of snow equipment on the road, said Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge confirmed.
Local meteorologists have said that the forecasts show that a blizzard is very likely to hit Boston on Saturday.
To become a blizzard a storm must have sustained wind or frequent gusts of 35mph or greater and considerable falling and/or blowing snow reducing visibility to under a quarter mile for at least three consecutive hours.
This weekend’s storm would mark the first time Boston has been under a blizzard warning since March of 2018.
‘Boston is within the bull’s-eye of some of the worst conditions expected, and into Maine,’ meteorologist Mary Gilbert told the New York Post. ‘They’re going to have very strong winds as well, so travel is going to be very difficult.’
But Boston isn’t the only city awaiting a potential blizzard. Nearly 10 million people across 10 states in coastal counties from New England to Virginia have been issued blizzard warnings.
Accuweather forecasters recommend avoiding travel across New England during the storm on Saturday and Sunday night as the storm is likely to maintain its intensity for about eight to 12 hours.
Some parts of coastal Atlantic were also facing the possibility of flooding in low-lying areas and vulnerable roadways, the NWS said.
Boston will need to see more than 23.6 inches of snow within 24 hours to beat the record set by the snowstorm that hit the city in 2003 (Pictured: Workers at Expressway Motors Inc. in Dorchester had to clean and move automobiles at the auto dealership lot to clear them from snow left by the blizzard of February 2003)
The Blizzard of 2003, also known as the Presidents’ Day Storm II, blasted all of the East Coast with record-breaking snow and wintry weather (Pictured: Chris Shaughnessy, 12, in Hanover, Massachusetts in February 2003 with his new Christmas present: an Arctic Cat with a plow)
The storm system will push temperatures down. Highs will range from 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit below average across the eastern third of the US on Saturday.
New York City could record 1-inch of snow an hour and pack winds of up to 50mph throughout the city on Saturday.
The Big Apple’s storm situation remains uncertain. The city is forecasted to get between 8 and 12 inches of snow but has been given a 10 percent chance of more than 17 inches and a 10 percent of no snow.
The Snow Alert will begin at 4pm on Friday but outdoor dining will remain open until Saturday. Adams issued a Code Blue which aims to shelter the homeless when the temperature drops to 32 degrees or below, including wind-chill.
‘We are going to be prepared for it,’ Adams told reporters Friday afternoon. ‘We can expect up to one foot of snow but you know, Mother Nature has a tendency to do what she wants, and we’re just going to be prepared.’
The last notable Nor’easter to hit the Northeast came in October, and hammered the area with powerful winds and heavy rains that left more than 600,000 homes and businesses without power at one point, USA Today reported.