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[January 27, 2022 | 5:30 PM ] Winter Storm-Late Friday Night Through Saturday Night – MEMA Situational Awareness Statement #2


The National Weather Service (NWS) has a high degree of confidence that a strong storm forecast to develop off the East Coast by this weekend will grow into a Nor’easter, bringing heavy snow, strong winds, and minor to pockets of moderate coastal flooding to parts of Massachusetts. The NWS anticipates the storm will move into New England late Friday night and will intensify overnight into Saturday. Snowfall will continue through the day, becoming heavy Saturday afternoon, before tapering off in the evening.

The area of heaviest snowfall will hinge on the exact track of the storm system which remains uncertain. Based on the current forecast, the area of greatest risk is southeastern MA and the Cape and Islands where as much as 18”- 24” of snow is expected. 12”- 18” is expected in the I-95 corridor and the North Shore and 8”- 12” in central MA. In Western MA, areas east of I-91 can expect 4”- 8”, and areas further west can expect 3”- 6”. Snow is expected to be powdery and dry over most of the state but wetter and heavier on the Cape and Islands, especially the Outer Cape and Nantucket.

Temperatures will be very cold in the wake of the storm with wind chills remaining at or below zero into Sunday.

Impacts/ Potential Impacts

  • Hazardous travel:
    • Snowfall, blowing, and drifting snow is expected late Friday night into Saturday night and will cause decreased visibility and hazardous travel conditions. Near-blizzard conditions are possible Saturday afternoon across southeastern MA and the Cape and Islands.
  • Power outages and wind damage:
    • Strong winds, combined with the weight of heavy snow, may down trees and power lines, leading to power outages.
    • Accumulations of heavy wet snow on roofs may result in structural damage, especially on the Outer Cape and Nantucket.
    • Winds are expected to be strong on Saturday, especially during the afternoon and evening. Eastern MA will be at the greatest risk. Strong northeast wind gusts of 50 MPH are expected with the possibility of wind gusts of 60 MPH or higher for the Cape and Islands.
  • Coastal flooding:
    • Minor coastal flooding (inundation of less than one foot above ground level). Localized moderate coastal flooding (inundation of 1 to 2 feet above ground level) is possible.
    • The high tide of concern is Saturday evening when a 2–4-foot storm surge (4 feet being a “worst-case” scenario) is expected.
    • Saturday morning: Minor flooding (surge of 1 to 2 feet with seas of 10-15 ft). NE winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
    • Saturday evening: Minor flooding with pockets of moderate flooding occurring in more vulnerable areas such as Plum Island, Scituate, and the shore of Cape Cod Bay from Sandwich to Dennis (surge of 2 to 4 feet with seas near 30 ft). Significant beach erosion. NE winds 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60+ mph.
    • Rough surf along the coast may lead to debris on coastal roadways, especially during the Saturday evening high tide.

Sunday morning: Residual minor flooding and splash over are possible, especially in Cape Cod Bay.

Weather Forecast Overview

Advisories, Watches, and Warnings – Last updated: 15:20 EST on 01-27-2022

Winter Storm Watch
Issued: January 27 at 3:20 PM EST
Expiring: January 30 at 12:00AM EST
Areas affected: Eastern Franklin; Eastern Hampden; Eastern Hampshire
Winter Storm Watch
Issued: January 27 at 3:20 PM EST
Expiring: January 30 at 12:00AM EST
Areas affected: Northern Worcester; Northwest Middlesex County; Southern Worcester

Winter Storm Watch
Issued: January 27 at 3:20 PM EST
Expiring: January 30 at 12:00AM EST
Areas affected: Central Middlesex County; Eastern Essex; Eastern Norfolk; Southeast Middlesex; Suffolk; Western Essex; Western Norfolk
Winter Storm Watch
Issued: January 27 at 3:20 PM EST
Expiring: January 30 at 12:00AM EST
Areas affected: Nantucket

Electric Distribution Company (EDC) plans and preparations:


  • Eversource is planning for a high-level Type 4 ERP event or a low-level Type 3 ERP event
    • Formal ERP declaration expected tomorrow morning (Friday)
    • For a Type 3 ERP event
      • Restoration activities are generally accomplished within a 72 hour period; and
      • Typically up to 10% (130,000) customer interruptions
  • Opening all 5 EOCs:
    • Boston;
    • Southboro;
    • Yarmouth;
    • Springfield; and
    • New Bedford.
  • Secured additional, external crews;
  • Pre-staging additional line and tree crews on the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard (Friday morning);
  • Municipal Officials have been receiving storm planning updates from the Community Liaison organization; and
  • Notified all life support customers and communities to prepare for the event (Thursday).

National Grid:

  • Declaring a Type 3 ERP event as of 5 pm Thursday;
    • Restoration activities are generally accomplished within a 72 hour period; and
    • Typically up to 10% (up to 130,000) customer interruptions.
  • Opening storm rooms at 10 pm Friday:
    • Brockton;
    • Hopedale;
    • Worcester;
    • North Andover; and
    • Malden.
  • Secured additional, external contract crews;
  • Pre-staging crews on Nantucket (Friday);
  • Strategically pre-staging transmission crews near the Hull H1/H2 line; and
  • Life support and critical facility outbound calls will be performed Friday.


  • Monitoring weather forecast;
  • Conducting internal storm planning logistics meetings;
  • Issued Public Service Announcement on Thursday alerting customers to be prepared for the storm; and
  • Not expecting a significant impact.

MEMA Operations

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is operating at Level 1 (Steady State Monitoring). MEMA will continue to monitor the situation and will disseminate additional Situational Awareness Statements (SAS), as necessary. The next SAS will be issued tomorrow morning.

MEMA is hosting daily statewide coordination calls with NWS, local municipal officials, and Emergency Support Function Team members to provide updated weather briefings and discuss preparedness actions for the upcoming storm.

MEMA Region Updates 
MEMA East (Regions 1 and 2) Critical Issues
  • Representatives from MEMA East, DCR, and EEA met this morning with local officials in Salisbury and Newburyport to better understand their coastal flooding concerns ahead of the storm.
  • EMDs from the South Shore Shelter Group convened a conference call this afternoon to discuss the potential need to activate a regional shelter to support the 8 member communities. At this time, no decision has been made to open a shelter but the group will reconvene tomorrow morning to determine whether to activate a shelter pre-landfall or wait until post-landfall.
Unmet Needs None reported.
MEMA West (Regions 3 and 4) Critical Issues None reported.
Unmet Needs None reported.


Preparedness and Safety Information

  • Individuals requiring dialysis during the storm in high-impact areas should work with their providers now to ensure treatment.
  • Individuals who are electric-dependent and are in areas that could be impacted by power outages should work with their support networks or make plans for when and where to evacuate should it be needed. If you are unsure if your locality is planning to provide charging locations, shelters, or warming centers, please contact 2-1-1 or your local emergency manager.

Additional preparedness and safety information:


Stay Informed

For additional information and updated forecasts, see (National Weather Service Norton) and (National Weather Service Albany)

Utilize MEMA’s real-time power outage viewer to stay informed about current power outages in your community and region, and across the state, including information from utility companies about restoration times:

Online Resources

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
MEMA’s Facebook page
MEMA Twitter @MassEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency
National Weather Service Boston/ Norton, MA
National Weather Service/Albany, NY
National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center
Northeast River Forecast Center
National Hurricane Center