2 feet of snow? Cape Cod braces for potentially epic storm

·4 min read

Editor's note: The blizzard has arrived on Cape Cod. Get the latest blizzard updates and snowfall totals.

A juggernaut of a storm, packing high winds and a boatload of snow may be headed for Cape Cod this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter storm watch is in effect from late Friday night through Saturday evening. Snowfall totals of 18-24 inches are possible in the Cape region, according to weather service forecasts Thursday afternoon.

Strong winds are also in the forecast, with gusts possibly reaching 65 mph on Saturday into Saturday night, raising concerns about the potential for power outages. According to Eversource spokesperson Chris McKinnon, the company has secured hundreds of extra repair crews and is in the process of strategically placing them in locations that are expected to be hardest hit by the storm.

Uncertainty in forecast for Cape Cod

McKinnon said it is likely crews will be placed on Cape Cod on Friday in advance of the storm as the forecast becomes clearer. "We are watching multiple forecasts and preparing for a widespread snow event in Massachusetts," he said.

Massachusetts: Gearing up for weekend winter storm. What we know about the snow

Heavy snow is predicted on Cape Cod during a winter storm that may swing into our region around Friday night.
Heavy snow is predicted on Cape Cod during a winter storm that may swing into our region around Friday night.

Power outages possible on the Cape

Customers can visit the online Eversource Outage Map (outagemap.eversource.com), a helpful tool to track and report power outages.

There is still uncertainty regarding the exact track and timing of the storm.

The weather service forecast discussion summed it up this way Thursday afternoon: "This remains a decidedly chaotic forecast," citing some level of discrepancy in various models of the storm. But there is "the threat for significant snow, potentially damaging winds, and coastal flooding.".

Photos: The Blizzard of 1978 on Cape Cod and beyond

A work crew from SumCo Eco Construction places sandbags in front of homes on Bay Beach Lane, along Town Neck Beach in Sandwich, on Thursday. Forecasters predict a strong nor'easter will impact the Cape late Friday night through Saturday.
A work crew from SumCo Eco Construction places sandbags in front of homes on Bay Beach Lane, along Town Neck Beach in Sandwich, on Thursday. Forecasters predict a strong nor'easter will impact the Cape late Friday night through Saturday.

Coastal flooding, erosion concerns

Coastal flooding could be an issue on the Cape during both high tide cycles on Saturday. Those high tides will occur roughly around 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., depending on location. The Saturday night high tide is of more concern, according to the weather service, with minor coastal flooding and pockets of moderate coastal flooding possible as seas offshore rise to 20 to 25 feet.

High seas and coastal flooding increase the possibility for erosion along Cape Cod beaches and could add to damage from the Jan. 17 storm, which caused significant erosion on parts of Cape Cod, including further imperiling a house at Ballston Beach in Truro.

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Photo gallery: These images capture recent erosion damage along the backshore of Cape Codstrategies

Ferry service cancellations likely

According to the Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority website, there is a high likelihood that ferry service to and from the Vineyard and Nantucket will be canceled for much of Saturday and possibly into Sunday morning.

Sean O'Brien, coordinator of the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee, said his organization was tracking the storm and meeting with other officials around the state to determine a course of action. O'Brien also cited the variability of storm track predictions as of Thursday afternoon and said decisions on a possible course of action, including opening shelters, would likely not be solidified until some time Friday.

Erosion: Previous storm further threatens house on Ballston Beach in Truro

Photo gallery: Erosion on Cape Cod through the years

National Weather Service forecast for Cape Cod

Friday: Cloudy, with a high near 37. West wind around 7 mph.

Friday night: Snow, mainly after 1 a.m. Low around 26. North wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 13 to 18 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Saturday: Snow. High near 33. Windy, with a north wind 25 to 30 mph increasing to 34 to 39 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 10 to 16 inches possible.

Saturday night: Snow, mainly before 11 p.m. Low around 15. Windy, with a north wind 33 to 38 mph decreasing to 22 to 27 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 27. Northwest wind 13 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.

This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Cape Cod braces for a potentially epic storm, up to 2 feet of snow

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