Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 6:50 a.m.: A major winter storm is upon us. Called “Winter Storm Niko” by the National Weather Service, the snow has yet to start falling in my neighborhood of Lowell. Here’s the Winter Storm Warning that has been issued:
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EST THIS EVENING…
* HAZARD TYPES…Heavy snow.
* Accumulations…Snow accumulation of 12 to 18 inches.
* Timing…Snow will begin between 5 and 8 am this morning. Snow will then fall heavy at times through this afternoon before tapering off to snow showers early this evening.
* Impacts…Hazardous travel due to snow covered roads and poor visibilities. Intense snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour will be possible at times along with some blowing and drifting snow.
* Winds…North 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.
A Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel…keep an extra flashlight…food…and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
School for today was cancelled for most communities including Lowell last night. (Lowell schools were also closed yesterday due to a morning ice storm and an already-planned early release day). All courts in Massachusetts were also closed for today as were most government offices. The governor has declared a state of emergency and has asked people to stay off the roads if possible. A parking ban took effect in Lowell at 5 a.m.
I’ll update this post through the day with storm reports. Please add your observations as comments.
UPDATE: 7:30 p.m. The storm was slow to start here in Lowell. Snow began falling just before noon but then it got bad quickly, with heavy snow and high wind. That continued until about 6 p.m. when the snow stopped. We got about eight inches of light, powdery snow. At 4:30 a.m., the temperature was 33 degrees, but it dropped into the low 20s while the snow fell, and now it’s down to 13 degrees with a strong wind.