Major Nor’easter Post Storm Report 12/26-12/27/10

Hello to all..

The following is a post storm report on the major nor’easter that affected the NWS Taunton County Warning Area on Sunday December 26th into Monday December 27th, 2010. This major nor’easter event followed a storm system that occurred on Monday December 20th, 2010 that caused a significant snowfall on Cape Cod and the Islands with a light to moderate snowfall in other parts of East Coastal Massachusetts. The December 20th storm system was not handled well by computer weather models and led to lower forecaster confidence as the major nor’easter of Sunday December 26th into Monday December 27th, 2010 became a significant threat. Computer weather models with the 12/26-12/7/10 storm performed markedly better in resolving the storm solution up to 6 days ahead of time despite briefly ‘losing’ the major storm solution in the 72-96 hour time range which has been a typical phenomenon over the past several years. Higher forecaster confidence within 48 hours of the event resulted in Winter Storm Watches for much of the NWS Taunton County Warning Area with Blizzard and Winter Storm Warnings issued for the region. Coastal Flood Watches were issued for East Coastal Massachusetts and were later upgraded to Coastal Flood Warnings. High Wind Warnings were issued over Cape Cod and the Islands where after a period of snow, the precipitation changed to rain. The most significant snow accumulations occurred near the Cape Cod Canal from West Barnstable to Sandwich Massachusetts.

WX1BOX, Amateur Radio SKYWARN Operations, commenced at Noon Sunday and were reduced to a self-activation mode by Noon Monday and completely secured by 5 PM Monday Afternoon. Eastern Massachusetts ARES was placed on stand-by for a similar timeframe. The major nor’easter produced a 10-18″ snowfall across portions of Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts away from the immediate coast. Amounts of 5-10″ were recorded over South and East Coastal Massachusetts and other parts of Rhode Island. Amounts of 6-12″ with isolated higher amounts were recorded across Northern Connecticut, Western and Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire though lower amounts of 3-6″ were observed in valley/shadowed locations. Amounts in northwest portions of the region were a bit lower than anticipated due to a dry slot that formed over portions of this area. This typically happens in intense nor’easters and are difficult to predict prior to the storm’s impact. East of Sandwich and Barnstable through Nantucket Island, snowfall of a coating to 2-3″ occurred in this area before the changeover to rain. The snow was very difficult to measure across the entire County Warning Area as this major nor’easter produced very strong winds. Even well inland, wind gusts of 45-60 MPH were recorded. Near the coast, wind gusts in the 55-70 MPH range occurred with isolated wind gusts to hurricane force recorded. N2NDY-Dale reported a 79 MPH measured wind gust in the Humarock section of Scituate, an 80 MPH measured wind gust was recorded in Wellfleet, Massachusetts and a 79 MPH measured wind gust was recorded in Orleans, Massachusetts. Another weather station in Scituate, Massachusetts on Humarock beach recorded a wind gust to 95 MPH coincident with the measured wind gust recorded at Dale’s location. That second station data in Scituate is currently under review. Many other wind gusts 58 MPH or greater (or severe wind criteria) were recorded. Moderate to major coastal flooding was recorded over much of East Coastal Massachusetts. Hardest hit were areas of Hull and Scituate along with portions of Gloucester and Rockport. Amateur Radio reports from the Gloucester EOC were given by Amateurs from the Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association (CAARA). KB1EKN-Mark Duff, who is also the Hingham Fire Chief, gave numerous reports out of the Scituate, Hull, Hingham area of coastal flooding. The vulnerable portions of Morissey Boulevard in Boston were also impacted by coastal flooding as well as portions of Lynn, Salem, Winthrop and Revere. Amateur Radio reports were forwarded from the 145.47-Danvers North Shore Amateur Radio Association (NSRA) Repeater, 145.23-Boston, 145.25-Norwell and 145.13-Gloucester Repeaters. Cape Cod ARES/SKYWARN held call-ups every hour relaying reports of wind damage, coastal flooding and changeover in precipitation. Nets were held on the 147.375-Falmouth and 146.955-Barnstable Repeaters.

The New England Echolink/IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project) Reflector System (http://new-eng.com) *NEW-ENG* Echolink conference node: 9123/IRLP 9123 was also utilized during this major nor’easter. Liaisons from other SKYWARN Nets provided reports via this system as well as direct reports from Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotters were also received via this system. SKYWARN Nets in Connecticut with Windham County and Hartford-Tolland County SKYWARN came up several times during the nor’easter to relay damage and snowfall reports through the efforts of Windham County SKYWARN Coordinator KB1DGY-Bernie Dubb and Hartford-Tolland County SKYWARN Coordinator Roger Jeanfaivre-K1PAI, Hartford-Tolland County SKYWARN. Eric Tuller-N1QKO, Western Massachusetts Assistant SKYWARN Coordinator and Ray Weber-KA1JJM, Western Massachusetts SKYWARN Coordinator provided reports from their area and relayed the Hartford-Tolland County Connecticut SKYWARN reports to WX1BOX due to high report volume on the impacts of the storm from all parts of the County Warning Area. Jim Blaine-WD4JZO relayed reports of damage and snowfall from Hillsborough County NH ARES/SKYWARN as well.

At the height of the storm, 55,000 were without power in the state of Massachusetts. This due to the damaging winds and in some cases damaging winds in combination with wet snowfall over the region. The coastal flooding was some of the worst seen over portions of the area in the past 15-20 years but was considered below the impacts of the ‘No-Name/Perfect Storm’ of 1991 and December 1992 storms that affected this region. Damage assessment work by the Red Cross is still ongoing over the coastal areas.

Massachusetts Emergency Management (MEMA)/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) was active at the State Emergency Operations Center in Framingham Massachusetts, Region 1 Tewksbury, Region 2 Bridgewater, Region 3 Agawam offices with the Worcester city EOC active supporting the city and MEMA operations. A State of Emergency was declared in Massachusetts at approximately 1215 PM Sunday December 26th and was lifted on Tuesday December 28th. MEMA/RACES supported additional data and report gathering for use by MEMA in assessing the storm impact and for NWS Taunton to reassess and change their forecasts for the region as needed. The Region offices were active through Monday afternoon with the State EOC securing operations at 5 PM Monday December 27th. Massachusetts State RACES Radio Officer, Tom Kinahan, N1CPE, Region 1 RACES Radio Officer, Terry Stader-KA8SCP, Region 2 RACES Radio Officer, Bob Mims-WA1OEZ and Region 3 RACES Radio Officer, Steve Rodowicz-N1SR supported Amateur Radio Operations at these locations with several additional Amateur Radio Operators. N2YHK-John Ruggiero, WK1H-Gil Hayes and the Worcester Emergency Communications Team affiliated with Western Massachusetts ARES assured staffing at the Worcester city EOC for local city and state MEMA operations. In New Hampshire, their State EOC upgraded to a level-3 activation during the storm at approximately 630 PM Sunday December 26th as reported by Dave Colter-WA1ZCN, New Hampshire Assistant SEC for Operations and was then returned to a level-1 normal operations mode at 300 PM Monday December 27th as the predominant impact in New Hampshire was heavy snowfall and damage from wind was minimal resulting in only a few small power outages. In Connecticut, a level-2 stand-by of ARES occurred and the Connecticut ARES SEC Net was activated at 8 PM on the KB1AEV Connecticut Linked Repeater system. The Connecticut DEMHS Emergency Operations Center was staffed during the height of the major nor’easter and the Connecticut National Guard placed on stand-by as reported by Steve Williams-K1SJW-Connecticut State SKYWARN Coordinator.

The data gathered by Amateur Radio Operator SKYWARN Spotters and non-Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotters were utilized not just by NWS for their forecasts but by the American Red Cross and local/state/federal emergency management to assess the storm response and recover in near real-time. This is particularly helpful to create a high level of situational awareness and assists greatly in damage assessment done in the recovery phase of a storm scenario. The data availability was very useful and appreciated by all agencies.

Below is the pertinent NWS Taunton Local Storm Reports and Public Information Statements summarizing the major nor’easter impact on the region. The links to the data appear below:

NWS Taunton Local Storm Report Summaries:
http://www.wx1box.org/local/lsr_12_27_10_2.txt
http://www.wx1box.org/local/lsr_12_27_10.txt

NWS Taunton Public Information Statement Storm Summaries:
http://www.wx1box.org/local/pns_blizzard_12_27_10.txt
http://www.wx1box.org/local/pns_blizzard_12_27_10_2.txt

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator     
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
http://www.wx1box.org

Hello to all..

The following is a post storm report on the major nor’easter that affected the NWS Taunton County Warning Area on Sunday December 26th into Monday December 27th, 2010. This major nor’easter event followed a storm system that occurred on Monday December 20th, 2010 that caused a significant snowfall on Cape Cod and the Islands with a light to moderate snowfall in other parts of East Coastal Massachusetts. The December 20th storm system was not handled well by computer weather models and led to lower forecaster confidence as the major nor’easter of Sunday December 26th into Monday December 27th, 2010 became a significant threat. Computer weather models with the 12/26-12/7/10 storm performed markedly better in resolving the storm solution up to 6 days ahead of time despite briefly ‘losing’ the major storm solution in the 72-96 hour time range which has been a typical phenomenon over the past several years. Higher forecaster confidence within 48 hours of the event resulted in Winter Storm Watches for much of the NWS Taunton County Warning Area with Blizzard and Winter Storm Warnings issued for the region. Coastal Flood Watches were issued for East Coastal Massachusetts and were later upgraded to Coastal Flood Warnings. High Wind Warnings were issued over Cape Cod and the Islands where after a period of snow, the precipitation changed to rain. The most significant snow accumulations occurred near the Cape Cod Canal from West Barnstable to Sandwich Massachusetts.

WX1BOX, Amateur Radio SKYWARN Operations, commenced at Noon Sunday and were reduced to a self-activation mode by Noon Monday and completely secured by 5 PM Monday Afternoon. Eastern Massachusetts ARES was placed on stand-by for a similar timeframe. The major nor’easter produced a 10-18″ snowfall across portions of Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts away from the immediate coast. Amounts of 5-10″ were recorded over South and East Coastal Massachusetts and other parts of Rhode Island. Amounts of 6-12″ with isolated higher amounts were recorded across Northern Connecticut, Western and Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire though lower amounts of 3-6″ were observed in valley/shadowed locations. Amounts in northwest portions of the region were a bit lower than anticipated due to a dry slot that formed over portions of this area. This typically happens in intense nor’easters and are difficult to predict prior to the storm’s impact. East of Sandwich and Barnstable through Nantucket Island, snowfall of a coating to 2-3″ occurred in this area before the changeover to rain. The snow was very difficult to measure across the entire County Warning Area as this major nor’easter produced very strong winds. Even well inland, wind gusts of 45-60 MPH were recorded. Near the coast, wind gusts in the 55-70 MPH range occurred with isolated wind gusts to hurricane force recorded. N2NDY-Dale reported a 79 MPH measured wind gust in the Humarock section of Scituate, an 80 MPH measured wind gust was recorded in Wellfleet, Massachusetts and a 79 MPH measured wind gust was recorded in Orleans, Massachusetts. Another weather station in Scituate, Massachusetts on Humarock beach recorded a wind gust to 95 MPH coincident with the measured wind gust recorded at Dale’s location. That second station data in Scituate is currently under review. Many other wind gusts 58 MPH or greater (or severe wind criteria) were recorded. Moderate to major coastal flooding was recorded over much of East Coastal Massachusetts. Hardest hit were areas of Hull and Scituate along with portions of Gloucester and Rockport. Amateur Radio reports from the Gloucester EOC were given by Amateurs from the Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association (CAARA). KB1EKN-Mark Duff, who is also the Hingham Fire Chief, gave numerous reports out of the Scituate, Hull, Hingham area of coastal flooding. The vulnerable portions of Morissey Boulevard in Boston were also impacted by coastal flooding as well as portions of Lynn, Salem, Winthrop and Revere. Amateur Radio reports were forwarded from the 145.47-Danvers North Shore Amateur Radio Association (NSRA) Repeater, 145.23-Boston, 145.25-Norwell and 145.13-Gloucester Repeaters. Cape Cod ARES/SKYWARN held call-ups every hour relaying reports of wind damage, coastal flooding and changeover in precipitation. Nets were held on the 147.375-Falmouth and 146.955-Barnstable Repeaters.

The New England Echolink/IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project) Reflector System (http://new-eng.com) *NEW-ENG* Echolink conference node: 9123/IRLP 9123 was also utilized during this major nor’easter. Liaisons from other SKYWARN Nets provided reports via this system as well as direct reports from Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotters were also received via this system. SKYWARN Nets in Connecticut with Windham County and Hartford-Tolland County SKYWARN came up several times during the nor’easter to relay damage and snowfall reports through the efforts of Windham County SKYWARN Coordinator KB1DGY-Bernie Dubb and Hartford-Tolland County SKYWARN Coordinator Roger Jeanfaivre-K1PAI, Hartford-Tolland County SKYWARN. Eric Tuller-N1QKO, Western Massachusetts Assistant SKYWARN Coordinator and Ray Weber-KA1JJM, Western Massachusetts SKYWARN Coordinator provided reports from their area and relayed the Hartford-Tolland County Connecticut SKYWARN reports to WX1BOX due to high report volume on the impacts of the storm from all parts of the County Warning Area. Jim Blaine-WD4JZO relayed reports of damage and snowfall from Hillsborough County NH ARES/SKYWARN as well.

At the height of the storm, 55,000 were without power in the state of Massachusetts. This due to the damaging winds and in some cases damaging winds in combination with wet snowfall over the region. The coastal flooding was some of the worst seen over portions of the area in the past 15-20 years but was considered below the impacts of the ‘No-Name/Perfect Storm’ of 1991 and December 1992 storms that affected this region. Damage assessment work by the Red Cross is still ongoing over the coastal areas.

Massachusetts Emergency Management (MEMA)/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) was active at the State Emergency Operations Center in Framingham Massachusetts, Region 1 Tewksbury, Region 2 Bridgewater, Region 3 Agawam offices with the Worcester city EOC active supporting the city and MEMA operations. A State of Emergency was declared in Massachusetts at approximately 1215 PM Sunday December 26th and was lifted on Tuesday December 28th. MEMA/RACES supported additional data and report gathering for use by MEMA in assessing the storm impact and for NWS Taunton to reassess and change their forecasts for the region as needed. The Region offices were active through Monday afternoon with the State EOC securing operations at 5 PM Monday December 27th. Massachusetts State RACES Radio Officer, Tom Kinahan, N1CPE, Region 1 RACES Radio Officer, Terry Stader-KA8SCP, Region 2 RACES Radio Officer, Bob Mims-WA1OEZ and Region 3 RACES Radio Officer, Steve Rodowicz-N1SR supported Amateur Radio Operations at these locations with several additional Amateur Radio Operators. N2YHK-John Ruggiero, WK1H-Gil Hayes and the Worcester Emergency Communications Team affiliated with Western Massachusetts ARES assured staffing at the Worcester city EOC for local city and state MEMA operations. In New Hampshire, their State EOC upgraded to a level-3 activation during the storm at approximately 630 PM Sunday December 26th as reported by Dave Colter-WA1ZCN, New Hampshire Assistant SEC for Operations and was then returned to a level-1 normal operations mode at 300 PM Monday December 27th as the predominant impact in New Hampshire was heavy snowfall and damage from wind was minimal resulting in only a few small power outages. In Connecticut, a level-2 stand-by of ARES occurred and the Connecticut ARES SEC Net was activated at 8 PM on the KB1AEV Connecticut Linked Repeater system. The Connecticut DEMHS Emergency Operations Center was staffed during the height of the major nor’easter and the Connecticut National Guard placed on stand-by as reported by Steve Williams-K1SJW-Connecticut State SKYWARN Coordinator.

The data gathered by Amateur Radio Operator SKYWARN Spotters and non-Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotters were utilized not just by NWS for their forecasts but by the American Red Cross and local/state/federal emergency management to assess the storm response and recover in near real-time. This is particularly helpful to create a high level of situational awareness and assists greatly in damage assessment done in the recovery phase of a storm scenario. The data availability was very useful and appreciated by all agencies.

Below is the pertinent NWS Taunton Local Storm Reports and Public Information Statements summarizing the major nor’easter impact on the region. The links to the data appear below:

NWS Taunton Local Storm Report Summaries:
http://www.wx1box.org/local/lsr_12_27_10_2.txt
http://www.wx1box.org/local/lsr_12_27_10.txt

NWS Taunton Public Information Statement Storm Summaries:
http://www.wx1box.org/local/pns_blizzard_12_27_10.txt
http://www.wx1box.org/local/pns_blizzard_12_27_10_2.txt

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator     
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
http://www.wx1box.org

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