Block Island reached blizzard status on Jan. 4

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 7:45am

The following was issued by the National Weather Service:


The National Weather Service in Taunton has reviewed the 
observations from the winter storm that affected our region today. 
We have determined that the only official reporting site that met 
blizzard criteria was Block Island, RI (BID).

The definition of a blizzard is that falling and/or blowing snow 
reduces visibility to below 1/4 mile along with sustained winds or 
winds that frequently gust to 35 mph or more, and that these are 
the predominant reported conditions for three consecutive hours.

When reviewing whether a particular observation location had 
blizzard conditions, we counted visibilities equal to 1/4 mile since 
that is often quite low for an automated visibility sensor to detect.

At Block Island, blizzard conditions occurred between 8:30 a.m. and 
12:05 p.m. In that 3 hour and 35 minute period, there were only a few 
short gaps in which there was a brief lull in the winds, totaling 
18 minutes. Blizzard conditions were predominant. 

Six stations had near-blizzard criteria, but fell short either 
because of too many lull periods, or because of the length of time.
These near-blizzard sites included Boston, MA (BOS), 
Worcester, MA (ORH), Plymouth, MA (PYM), Providence, RI (PVD), 
Newport, RI (UUU), and North Smithfield, RI (SFZ).