Northeast Braces for Possibly ‘Historic’ Winter Storm, Coast Guard Urging Mariners to Take Precautions

A winter storm approaching the eastern United States is seen in a NOAA GOES satellite image released January 26, 2015. REUTERS/NOAA/Handout via Reuters
A winter storm approaching the eastern United States is seen in a NOAA GOES satellite image released January 26, 2015. REUTERS/NOAA/Handout via Reuters

The U.S. Coast Guard is urging mariners and coastal communities from New York City up through New England to take precautions in preparation for Winter Storm Juno, expected to impact the Northeast late Monday through Wednesday.

The Coast Guard is flying storm tracks today to warn mariners of the impending blizzard. Air Station Cape Cod is using HC-144a Ocean Sentry airplanes to circumvent the storm while radioing information to mariners below.

The Coast Guard says it will continuously update conditions and issue marine broadcast warnings.

As the storm moves up the coast, it is expected to bring snowfall of 1-3 feet or more to many parts of the Northeast through Tuesday evening, including New York City and Boston, according to the National Weather Service. Strong, gusty winds will combine with the snow to create blizzard conditions along and near the coast.

Blizzard warnings for have been issued from New Jersey to Maine in the U.S. and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Newfoundland in Canada, including all of Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts.

“I was living here in Massachusetts in 1978 when a storm shut down the city for a week, this has all the ingredients to be a historical event,” said Rear Adm. Linda Fagan, commander of the 1st Coast Guard District in Boston. “I’ve ensured our crews are ready, and prepared for the worst.”

Sustained winds will likely be 20 to 40 mph in a large area with gusts up to 55 mph, the Coast Guard says. Even higher winds are expected in eastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard where gusts of 70+ mph are possible.

Hurricane force wind warnings are in effect for portions of the nearshore waters around Cape Cod and the nearby islands. Seas could exceed 25 feet and winds could gust over 80 mph over water, making this an extremely dangerous storm for mariners.

The USCG says mariners should consider steps to minimize the effects of heavy snow accumulations on decks, particularly well decks with little drainage and upper decks, where additional weight may affect stability.

Check the National Weather Service for the latest information on this major winter storm.