Over the past few days, the weather models had been honing in on a strong piece of atmospheric energy diving southeastward out of southern Canada. This was forecast to force a strong surface low that would explosively develop just off the northeastern coast.
Associated with this would be strong dynamics, and the ability to force heavy snowfall. Today, the forecast models proved right. A strong surface low explosively developed overnight and into this morning, creating strong winds along the coastline. Not only that, but the upper air dynamics that fostered this system gave way to incredibly intense snowfall in much of New England.
Snowfall rates in the 2-4″ per hour range have been recorded, with hundreds of lightning strikes occurring. This is an extremely rare case of dynamics strong enough that they produce widespread thunderstorm. Check out some of the scenes from the region.
— Eric Loh (@lohshow) February 9, 2017
— Brad Smith (@smithbrad) February 9, 2017
The lightning density associated with this snow band is, simply put, incredible. Probably the densest/most frequent I’ve ever seen in snow. pic.twitter.com/nCSrovRX0Q
— Taylor Trogdon (@TTrogdon) February 9, 2017
— Jeff Buck (@Jeff_Buck) February 9, 2017
This snow was heavy and wet as well, allowing for it to pile up quickly on trees and powerlines. This, combined with strong wind gusts, created damage in the region.
— WBZ NewsRadio (@wbznewsradio) February 9, 2017
— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) February 9, 2017
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) February 9, 2017
— Debbie Umina (@DebbieUmina) February 9, 2017
I sincerely hope that everyone in New England decided to play it safe and avoid going on in the conditions, because they’re some of the worst I have seen in a while. Even so, I think it would be cool to see snow that heavy.