Snowstorm in New England triggers power outages across the region


A powerful spring coastal storm is clobbering New England, bringing up to two feet of pasty snow, significant sleet accumulations and strong gusts that are knocking out power. According to, more than 600,000 customers are without power in the Northeast, nearly 500,000 of whom reside in New Hampshire and Maine alone. Winter storm warnings plaster all of Vermont and New Hampshire, as well as nearly every county in Maine and most of eastern New York state north of Albany.

The same storm unloaded one to two feet of snow in parts of northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Tuesday and Wednesday and cut power to more than 150,000 customers because of its weight, which snapped trees and power lines.

A massive storm that hit most of the U.S. over the first week of April has brought snow, sleet and coastal flooding to New England. (Video: John Farrell/The Washington Post)

The somewhat long-duration storm began Wednesday in the Northeast, and won’t finally wind down fully until Friday night or Saturday for parts of New Hampshire and Maine.

The snow is occurring on the cold side of a powerful and wide-reaching storm system that has swept the country. It brought heavy rain, flooding and snow to California over the weekend before unleashing severe thunderstorms in the central and eastern states during the first half of the workweek.

On weather satellite imagery, an enormous swirl of low pressure can be seen over Ohio. That swung a cold front through the East Coast, along which a new area of low pressure formed south of Long Island. That’s been pinwheeling moisture back toward the coast while simultaneously drawing cold air southward. That frigid air mass has bled into the mountains of Massachusetts, where a wintry mix has fallen. Farther north, sleet has transitioned to heavy, wet snow.

Here’s a roundup of how much snow has fallen thus far:

  • 15.2 inches in Greensboro, Vt.
  • 13.5 inches in Rochester, Vt.
  • 12.2 inches in Porter, Maine
  • 12.1 inches in Hollis, Maine
  • 12 inches in Eden, Vt.
  • 11.5 inches in Warren, Vt.
  • 11 inches in Deerfield, N.H.
  • 8.2 inches in Plainfield, Mass.
  • 8 inches in Conway, N.H.
  • 6 inches in Portland, Maine

The moisture wrapping around the ongoing storm will continue to bring snow to northeast New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, northern Massachusetts and much of Maine (mainly west of Interstate 95) through Thursday evening. Another 3 to 5 inches are possible in the heaviest zones.

By Thursday night, the center of low pressure may pull into Maine, pulling a milder marine air mass into the state causing to snow to change to freezing rain or a wintry mix as far inland as central Maine. Snow will become more intermittent in Vermont and New Hampshire, but will keep falling steadily in far western and northern Maine.

The snow may keep going Friday into Friday night in interior Maine as the center of low pressure meanders near the coast. Scattered snow showers may also continue in the mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire and New York and also downwind of lakes Ontario and Erie.

While precipitation may change to rain in eastern Maine and along the coast Friday, it may briefly flip back to snow early Saturday morning before the low-pressure zone finally pulls away to the east.

Strong winds and coastal flooding

The storm has featured strong winds, including a gust to 61 mph on Nantucket and 58 mph in Hyannis. Boston saw gusts to 59 mph, and Provincetown, on the tip of Cape Cod, had a gust to 54 mph.

The Portland International Jetport in Maine gusted to 53 mph, and there were several gusts of 60 to 70 mph at the coast.

Strong winds have been helping to push water against the coastline. In Boston, water levels are running 3.9 feet above normal, with 2.3 feet of surge observed thus far on the Outer Cape.

A widespread 5 to 10 inches accumulated in much of Wisconsin, but totals climbed to around 12 to 18 inches in the high elevations near Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Much of the heavy snow happened Tuesday night into early Wednesday.

In Marquette, 14 inches fell on April 2 alone, almost doubling the old calendar-day record of 7.2 inches in 2016. Green Bay picked up 6.5 inches, including a record 5.1 inch April 2. The totals from this one storm surpassed the monthly average in Green Bay and approached the average in Marquette.

Additional storm snowfall totals include:

  • 14.2 inches in east La Crosse, Wis.
  • 14 inches in Ishpeming, Mich. (southwest of Marquette)
  • 12 inches in Herman, Mich. (west of Marquette)
  • 8 inches in Caledonia, Minn. (southwest of La Crosse)
  • 6.8 inches in Escanaba, Mich. (along Lake Michigan’s northern shore)
  • 6.5 inches in Dubuque, Iowa
  • 4 inches in Freeport, Ill.


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