There's no painless way to put this for snow-choked New England: Get ready for "12 hours of hell," warns Tom Moore, a meteorologist with The Weather Channel.
While the region has grown accustomed to record snow this winter, the "fierce storm" descending on the Northeast this weekend could be more dangerous than the previous three storms, he told NBC News. A blizzard warning will apply to parts of New England from about midnight Saturday to noon Sunday.
This latest storm doesn't necessarily "look sexy as far as numbers," Moore said, adding that areas such as Boston are expecting about 9 inches of snow compared with measurements in feet during the previous storms. But the wind and extremely low temperatures that will accompany the bitter blast in parts of Massachusetts and Maine are the elements “I fear the most," Moore said.
During the "last storm, you could stay outside and shovel," Moore said. This time around, wind gusts could reach 75 mph, according to Weather.com, making it virtually impossible for plows to clear the roads due to whiteout conditions. Temperatures will fall below and around zero — as much as 35 degrees below average even for February — according to the National Weather Service. This could cause hazards for people unable to shovel out of their homes, who are likely to lose heat and electricity because of the heavy winds, Moore warned.
Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, also said that snow amounts aren't expected to compare with the previous big storms. "But still, when you have 8 to 14 inches of snow, wind driven-snow, the cold air and the snow that is already there — it's probably going to be very difficult for a lot of people," he said.
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— Elisha Fieldstadt