By Matthew Cappucci March 1
Even by New England standards, the Nor’easter forecast to explosively develop Friday and Saturday is set to be a whopper. With onshore winds topping 70 mph, a stalling ocean storm that will linger for days, and the full moon Thursday night, the stage is set for a worst case-scenario coastal flood event.
A four foot storm surge will accompany the beast of a storm, which will rapidly spin up south of Long Island Thursday night. The central pressure could drop thirty millibars in 24 hours, easily qualifying it as a “bomb cyclone.”
The National Weather Service is warning that the seas could top 15.3 feet at the tidal gauge in Boston Harbor. Significant impacts will occur during the high tide Friday morning, which falls just before noon. Because the storm will stick around for several tidal cycles, it could reach this threshold again around midnight Friday and noontime Saturday.
This 15.3 feet, if realized, will break the record for flood stage in Boston for the second time this year. The long-standing record of 15.1 feet, set during the Blizzard of ’78, was knocked out of its top spot by the 15.16 feet achieved during January’s “bomb cyclone.” Both systems brought massive coastal flooding in Eastern Massachusetts, wreaking havoc in shoreline communities and destroying a number of structures.