Boston’s brutal winter has made its way into the record books.
After yet another blizzard last week, the city marked its snowiest month since record-keeping started in 1872, forecasters said Sunday.
“It’s official, Boston has reached its snowiest month on record with 45.5 total inches,” the National Weather Service tweeted early Sunday. “The old record was 43.3 in January 2005.”
And as the inches pile on, the city marked another milestone: seventh snowiest winter on record, with 82.7 inches so far.
Forecasters predict that a blizzard will linger until Sunday night. Cape Cod and the islands off the Massachusetts coast could see hurricane-force winds.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has declared the next seven days ”Valentine’s Week” in an attempt to help restaurants, flower shops and other small businesses hurting from the record-setting snowfall.
Speaking to reporters about storm preparations for the fourth time in three weeks, the governor quipped, “There’s a little bit of deja vu all over again.”
The blizzard will bring drifting snow in many parts of eastern Massachusetts, Baker said.
Already, the snowfall is expected to be more than what was forecast as recently as Saturday night, Baker said Sunday morning.
He urged drivers to stay off the roads.
“Tomorrow is a holiday (Presidents Day), and it’s probably a really good time for everybody to come up with neat things to do indoors and right around your house,” he said.
This is a big one
Sunday’s storm will compound the exasperation caused by four weather systems that have dumped piles of snow on the city. Eastern Massachusetts is under blizzard warnings, as are parts of eastern Maine.
• Wicked wind: Some gusts could reach hurricane strength, 74 mph or greater. Sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph will cause the snow to blow around and hamper visibility. Power outages can be expected in many areas, the National Weather Service said.
• Light snow, relatively speaking: Compared with other storms, this won’t be as big a snow event for Boston. About 10 to 14 inches are forecast. Coastal Massachusetts might see 6 to 10 inches, forecasters say. Eastern Maine could get up to 26 inches of snow.
• Storm surge: With high winds, the surf along the Massachusetts coast will be harsh. The storm surge in northeastern parts of the state and in Maine could be 2 to 2½ feet. This could lead to flooding.
Travel will be a nightmare
• No mass transit Sunday: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, better known to many as The T, won’t run Sunday, when the worst of the weather will hit. There will be no subway, bus, commuter rail, trolley or ferry service.
It’s the third time the subway has shuttered service because of a serious storm. Officials will decide on Sunday whether to cancel service for Monday.
And Amtrak has canceled six trains for Sunday.
• Whiteout conditions: There is no ban on driving, but it seems like a pretty bad idea.
“Travel will become nearly impossible,” the National Weather Service said. The snow will be a light snow, so it will fly around easily in the strong winds. Visibility will be a quarter mile or less during the storm.
• Flight trouble: More than 1,500 flights have been canceled for Sunday, according to Flightaware.com, which tracks cancellations for both weather and mechanical reasons. Many of those canceled flights were scheduled to depart from Boston and New York-area airports.
Not just in the Northeast
• Forecast for the South: Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta, two cities that had one memorable snowy/icy storm last year, might find residents flooding grocery stores Sunday night. “Wintry precipitation possible” early this week, the National Weather Service in Atlanta said.
“Are you ready for a shot at winter?” the agency’s Birmingham office asked.
In Ohio, a different weather system left three people dead in two accidents Saturday morning. One occurred near the Indiana state line, while the second accident happened in Erie County.