April Fools' Day Winter Storm Is No Joke: Up to 12'+ of Snow Possible
Winter Storm Theseus Brings April Fools' Snow, Ice To Parts of the Northeast
Apr 1 2017 05:30 AM EDT
Spring Thaw Releasing Ice-coated House
A house in New York encrusted by wind-blown ice from Lake Ontario begins to thaw.
Story HighlightsWinter Storm Theseus is bringing a swath of accumulating snow and ice to parts of the Northeast – a cruel April Fools' joke from Mother Nature.
Winter Storm Theseus is bringing accumulating snow and ice to portions of New England, New York state.
Wintry precipitation will gradually end by late Saturday.
Rain is expected along the southern New England coast southward into the mid-Atlantic.
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But this forecast calls for nothing like the epic April Fools' Day Blizzard that brought feet of snow to the region 20 years ago.
The National Weather Service has posted winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories across portions of New England, upstate New York and northeast Pennsylvania. Additionally, a freezing rain advisory is in effect for the Poconos.
The city of Boston is currently under a winter storm warning, where rain is expected to change to snow Saturday morning.
Current Radar, Temperatures, Conditions
This low-pressure system is then expected to pull away from the Northeast by Saturday night.
An area of low pressure will intensify off the Northeast coast, enhancing rain and snow through Saturday.
(MORE: This Was Your Coldest Temperature of Winter 2016-17)
Given the time of year and the onshore easterly wind expected, some parts of southern New England may see little to no accumulating snow because temperatures likely will remain above freezing. This may also help to minimize the impact on roads in many areas.
Some of the valleys of upstate New York may see a mix of rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow.
- Precipitation will persist in New England and upstate New York before the low pulls away by Saturday night. Rain will change to snow in many areas during the morning.
- Snow will continue to accumulate in western and southern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and eastern New York, with a mix of rain and snow in far southern and southeast New England.
- Rain is expected from Cape Cod into southern Connecticut, Long Island and northern New Jersey.
- Wind gusts up to 60 mph are possible along the coast in southeast New England and eastern Long Island.
- FORECAST: Bangor, Maine | Nantucket, Massachusetts | Atlantic City, New Jersey | Burlington, Vermont
How Much Snow Will Fall?A broad swath from southern Maine into New Hampshire, Vermont, western, central and far northern Massachusetts and the Adirondacks of upstate New York is expected to pick up at least 6 inches of snow from Theseus by late Saturday.
The heaviest totals, well over a foot of snow, are expected in the highest elevations of those areas.
These accumulations of wet, heavy snow could result in downed tree limbs, powerlines and power outages.
There will likely be a large gradient in snowfall totals across metropolitan Boston from the south side (lighter) to the west and north sides (heavier).
Snowfall Forecast Through Saturday
Some sleet and freezing rain accumulations are also possible, which could result in patchy accumulation of ice in some areas. The highest risk of ice accumulation is in the Worcester Hills, the east slopes of the Berkshires and the Poconos.
In areas where rain is the predominant precipitation type, rainfall amounts of up to 2 inches are possible. The greatest rainfall totals will likely be found toward the Northeast coast.
Snow Reports So FarHere are selected snowfall reports through early Saturday:
- Connecticut: 1.0 inch in Staffordville and Windsor Locks
- Maine: 8.3 inches in Hollis
- Massachusetts: 5.5 inches in Pepperell
- New Hampshire: 9.0 inches in Laconia
- New York: 5.5 inches in Wells and Lake Desolation
- Vermont: 11.5 inches near Bethel
April Fools' Day Blizzard Was 20 Years AgoThis snowfall in the Northeast is not the first time for such an occurrence on April Fools' Day.
In 1997, heavy snow buried portions of central and southern New England into the Catskills of New York and the Poconos of Pennsylvania from March 31 to April 1.
Snowfall accumulation map from Mar. 31- Apr. 1, 1997. (NOAA)
It was a heavy, wet snow that was accompanied by strong winds. This damaged trees and brought down powerlines.
(MORE: Extreme Winter Storms That Struck in Spring)
After reaching a high of 63 degrees on March 30, Boston then saw 25.4 inches of snow during the storm. More than a foot of snow fell as far south as Providence, which measured 18.0 inches.
Worcester received 33.0 inches from this snowstorm. This set a record at the time for most snow in a snowstorm, but that record was broken with Winter Storm Juno in January 2015.
Snow totals of up to 3 feet were reported, including in Milford, Massachusetts, and East Jewitt, New York.
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People struggle to walk in the blowing snow during a winter storm Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)