Daily Archives: January 11, 2011

Live Blog: What You Need To Know For #BosBlizz

Published January 11, 2011

Stay warm and stick with Hubbub for the latest on Boston’s first blizzard of 2011. Refresh for the latest updates. Newest on top.


6:10 p.m. At the press conference, Gov. Patrick said that he’s optimistic Thursday’s morning commute won’t be hugely impacted by Wednesday’s storm.

“The subway, commuter rail and ferry services should be normal in time for the morning commute,” Patrick said.

5:33 p.m. Gov. Deval Patrick has started his press conference. You can watch it live, courtesy of NECN.

5:30 p.m. All that snow that just fell? Hope you like it. Forecasters are predicting cold temperatures for Boston through the holiday weekend, so the snow won’t be melting any time soon.

5:27 p.m. Gov. Deval Patrick is set to brief the public on the latest #BosBlizz developments. When that happens, we’ll bring you live coverage courtesy of New England Cable News.

4:50 p.m. The WBUR newsroom has an update on statewide power outages. There are still about 25,000 customers without power, down from a high of around 100,000 customers earlier. The outages are focused on the Southeastern part of the state.

4:32 p.m. Phelps is taking a short break. My colleagues will post updates in my stead.

4:30 p.m. The MBTA reports good news for commuters:

All Green Line branches are now open. Service on the D and E lines has resumed.

3:45 p.m. @mattyven reports the power is back on in Coolidge Corner:

Functioning traffic lights in Coolidge Corner (Matt Venables via Twitter)

Functioning traffic lights in Coolidge Corner (Matt Venables via Twitter)

3:20 p.m. Although the worst is over, WCVB-TV meteorologist David Brown tells Radio Boston we should expect three to four more hours of snow, particularly in South Boston.

3:16 p.m. Gov. Patrick will hold a news conference at 5:15 today. We’ll carry the video live on wbur.org.

3:15 p.m. Good news — fewer power outages:

As of 2:30 p.m., with the storm’s tenacity finally abating, nearly 80,000 homes were without power — mostly in southeastern Massachusetts — down from a high of 100,000 outages.

Many homes won’t have power restored till Thursday morning.

2:36 p.m. The Globe posted a cool time-lapse video.

2:14 p.m. Inspired by Georgy Cohen in Somerville, I ventured outside and filed a video snow report from my own apartment on Concord Avenue in Cambridge. (Thanks to WBUR’s Joe Spurr for being my cameraman — he crashed here last night to avoid snow travel.)

2:10 p.m. Update from the newsroom:

Forecasters say the worst of the nor’easter is over.

The storm dumped upward of a foot of snow in some parts of greater Boston, up to two feet in Central Mass. and even more in Western Mass.

Nearly 100,000 homes are without power, mostly in the southeastern part of the state, with Marshfield, Plymouth, Brockton and Bridgewater appearing to be hit hardest.

Weymouth Deputy Fire Chief Jonathan Tose says his priority is making sure downed electric lines are not posing a threat there.

“We have a backlog of calls, and we’re trying to prioritize the calls as far as wires are down,” Tose said. “We’re trying to find out if it’s a power line as opposed to cable or  telephone line.”

National Grid says it hopes to have most customers back online by Thursday morning.

1:16 p.m. Great picture submitted to our Flickr group from Paul Keleher in Dover:

Dogs just want to play (Paul Keleher/Flickr)

Dogs just want to play (Paul Keleher/Flickr)

12:55 p.m. Gov. Deval Patrick has declared an emergency.

12:48 p.m. Transportation update from the newsroom:

  • On the MBTA, there are delays on most commuter rail lines.
  • T General Manager Richard Davey said there are very few people out, except at the Charles/MGH Red Line stop. “I think we had a lot of medical personnel probably going to the hospitals this morning,” Davey said.”We’ve seen very little ridership throughout the system.”
  • Amtrak has suspended service between Boston and New York after a large tree fell, damaging overhead wires.
  • State police are responding to cars stuck in the snow and spin-outs. There are 130 extra troopers on patrol.

12:02 p.m. I set up a live stream of #ViewFromMyWindow photos. Pretty cool!

11:24 a.m. Awesome video snow report from radiofreegeorgy in Somerville:

[youtube url=”EmwyEWwOXZE”]

This gives me the idea to record my own dispatch here in Cambridge.

11:17 a.m. It’s funny, we hyped the last storm much more — but this one seems to be dumping more snow and wreaking more havoc. The snowfall prediction has been revised to two feet.

10:34 a.m. @zackseward comes in with an explanation of “freezing fog,” also called, erm, hoar frost, from Wikipedia:

Freezing fog occurs when liquid fog droplets freeze to surfaces, forming white soft or hard rime. This is very common on mountain tops which are exposed to low clouds. It is equivalent to freezing rain, and essentially the same as the ice that forms inside a freezer which is not of the “frostless” or “frost-free” type. The term “freezing fog” may also refer to fog where water vapor is super-cooled, filling the air with small ice crystals similar to very light snow. It seems to make the fog “tangible”, as if one could “grab a handful”.

Let’s review two weather terms we learned today: Snowthunder, freezing fog.

10:20 a.m. Wait—WBUR’s Delores Handy just said “freezing fog.” That’s a thing?!

10:03 a.m. Oh, dear. WBUR updates:

As of 9:30 a.m., more than 87,000 homes were without power, mostly in southeastern Massachusetts.

9:47 a.m. Dispatch from The Onion: Snowy Conditions Proving Hazardous For Nation’s Idiots

9:33 a.m. This is the view from my window. What’s yours? Tweet or Flick us.

View from my window, Jan. 12

View from my window, Jan. 12 (Andrew Phelps/WBUR)

9:16 a.m. Update: Still snowing.

9:02 a.m. @peplau tweets:

I feel like New Englanders are getting soft on Winter. Our parents had a name for storms like today: Wednesday.

9:00 a.m. WBUR’s John Davidow reports hearing thundersnow in Newton this morning, a rare phenomenon with an awesome name. He says he also saw a flash of lightning. The NWS explains thundersnow:

Although thunderstorms are less common in the winter, sometimes lightning can occur within snowstorms and is called thundersnow. Thundersnow can be found where there is relatively strong instability and abundant moisture above the surface, such as above a warm front.

8:55 a.m. Delays galore on the T; follow @mbtaGM on Twitter for good updates.

8:41 a.m. The MBTA tweets:

Green Line D Branch: Bus replacement now in place between Newton Highlands and Riverside. Expect delays

8:35 a.m. …And MBTA.com is down.

8:27 a.m. @ChrisFollett informs us:

there’s a NY bound Acela train stuck on the tracks btween Mansfield & Attleboro

8:25 a.m. Delays on the Green D Line due to a fallen tree. The T says to expect delays on the Green Line.

8:20 a.m. Coming to grips with the fact that I’m a non-essential employee.

Wednesday, 7:36 a.m. Gov. Deval Patrick called the newsroom a few minutes ago, and he shared two current storm concerns:

  1. Patrick said warmer-than-expected temperatures in eastern Mass. are making for heavier snow, meaning there are likely to be more power outages. (We’re totaling more than 60,000 outages across the state at the moment).
  2. “The other main concern is that the snow is coming at a rate that it’s hard for the plows and sanders to keep up. When you get close to two inches an hour — in some cases three inches an hour — it’s really hard for the equipment to keep up, even with 4,000 pieces of equipment out on the road.”

7:55 p.m. Just a reminder: The city requires property owners to clear ice and snow from abutting sidewalks within three hours of snowfall, between sunrise and sunset. Even though the sidewalk in front of your house is city property, it’s your responsibility to shovel. (And it’s illegal to shovel snow from your property onto public property.)

7:43 p.m. Closures in Boston, from the city website:

  • Parking ban will go into effect at 9 p.m. Alternate lots will open at 7 p.m.
  • Non-essential city employees are directed to stay home.
  • Businesses are asked to consider having employees work from home, particularly as the heaviest snowfall is expected during the morning commute.
  • All trash collection for the remainder of the week will be delayed by one day, through Saturday.
  • Boston Centers for Youth & Families will open 10 community centers on Wednesday from noon to 6 p.m. for families with childcare needs.
  • Boston public libraries will be closed on Wednesday.

7:39 p.m. BU (Charles River Campus only) is closed.

6:02 p.m. Follow our comprehensive storm coverage over here. WBUR’s Benjamin Swasey is doing a great job with it.

6:00 p.m. It’s official, from @WBUR:

WBUR has decided to use #BosBlizz for all snow tweets.

5:52 p.m. This just in from NBC Chicago:

[youtube url=”ETMWINSMeOs”]

5:45: Globe: Logan Airport will remain open, but many flights are cancelled.

5:30 p.m. First time using an animated GIF in recent memory (updated 1/12 with live image):

NWS radar image

5:01 p.m. Brookline Patch reports schools there are closed Wednesday.

There is some debate about whether #SnowMyGod or #HereWeSnowAgain is the hash tag for this storm. I also like #BosBlizz.

Blizzard warning issued. Blizzard, defined:

  • Sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 miles an hour or greater; and
  • Considerable falling and/or blowing snow (i.e., reducing visibility frequently to less than ¼ mile)

Boston schools are closed Wednesday.

Snow emergencies declared:

  • Waltham, playing it super-conservative, effective 6 p.m. Tuesday
  • Somerville, effective 8 p.m. Tuesday
  • Boston, effective 9 p.m. Tuesday (late enough to let Mayor Menino finish his State of the City address)
  • Medford, effective at midnight
  • Cambridge, effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday
  • Brookline, effective 6 a.m. Wednesday

Check your town website for snow emergencies not covered here.

Tuesday Roundup: Nor’easter Imminent

Published January 11, 2011

Brace yourselves: Another big nor’easter is coming. Forecasters say a winter storm Tuesday night could dump up to 18 inches on central and eastern Massachusetts and a foot on Boston.

Blogger Garrett Quinn is taking a vote on the best Twitter hash tag for this storm. (#Snowmageddon is so 2010.) My favorite two so far are Quinn’s own suggestion of #SnowLoko2SnowHarder and one from WBUR’s Curt Nickisch: #winter.

The French Toast Alert level is currently High (orange).

Speaking of Snowmageddon, a website called Snowmageddon Cleanup allows the crowd to report problems — potholes, stuck cars, closed roads — and offer help.

In other news, we profiled Bob Metcalfe, the techrepreneur and mega-brain who’s fleeing Boston for Austin.

Universal Hub reports a dramatic rise in flu cases for children, which often foreshadows an outbreak among adults.

The Story of the Day easily goes to the Herald. Just read the lead:

An MBTA bus driver has been suspended after she was accused of taking dozens of terrified Boston Latin School students — including Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s 12-year-old granddaughter — on a wild ride off their scheduled school route, the Herald has learned

The Universal Hub headline summarizes the story: MBTA bus driver suspended for doing what probably every school-bus driver, ever, has dreamed of doing.

The runner-up for Story of the Day goes to the Globe, which reports Boston ambulances will be upgraded with hydraulic lifts to transport the obese. Yup.