Late blast of wintry weather hits parts of New England

by Reuters
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 16:32 GMT

By Dave Sherwood

BOWDOINHAM, Maine, March 26 (Reuters) - Parts of New England were hit with a late blast of wintry weather on Wednesday, the so-called "bombogenesis" storm that brought high winds to much of the region and snow to parts of Maine and Massachusetts' Cape Cod resort area.

Maine's rural "Downeast" coast, known for hilltop blueberry fields and a jagged, picturesque shore, is projected to see 60 mile per hour (97 kph) winds over land, hurricane force gusts at sea and as much as 18 inches (46 cm) of new snow, said National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Schwibs.

"We don't see ocean storms like this every year," he said.

After a season rife with "polar vortexes" along the eastern seaboard, "bombogenesis," short for "bomb cyclogenesis," provides weather watchers with yet another fantastic-sounding term to describe the winter weather, said Schwibs.

"These are storms that develop explosively, like dropping a gallon of gasoline on a hot barbecue," he said. "One minute you can be out at sea and it's calm, and the next you're facing hurricane force winds."

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a storm warning, and the National Weather Service said blowing and drifting snow will make overland travel nearly impossible during the storm, which is predicted to peak on Wednesday night.

The weather service also issued a blizzard warning for Massachusetts's' Cape Cod resort area and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, where heavy snow was falling on Wednesday and high winds churned sea waves as high as 10 feet (3 meters).

Metropolitan areas further inland, including Boston and Hartford, Connecticut, are unlikely to see any accumulation, forecasters said.

In Lubec, a coastal Maine town that calls itself the easternmost point of land in the United States, locals were hunkering down for yet another storm.

"We're getting pretty tired of it," said Rick Bradley, Lubec's director of public works, adding that salt and sand supplies were dwindling, along with his patience. "Everyone is getting pretty grumpy here." (Editing by Scott Malone and Gunna Dickson)

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