Monday, December 12, 2005

Martha's Vineyard experiences a "Wintercane"

Yesterday mother nature bestowed upon this little Island the worst weather that I have seen in years. Early in the day, the forecast was panning out as predicted with steady mild to torrential rains soaking the Island. Then a little after mid-day, the sun blazed through the clouds and everything was calm and bright for about 30 minutes. But the mood quickly changed as huge flakes of snow began to fall and the wind really started to amp up. Snow squalls increased and finally it wasn’t snowing vertically, it was all horizontal. I estimated the wind velocity to be about 60-70 mph with gusts well above that. Later I learned that gusts were clocked at over 90 mph and average winds were 73 mph, which is still not considered hurricane strength. The power started to flicker and I finally shut my computers down as businesses all over were throwing in the towel sending their employees out to wind their way home through what was becoming an increasingly treacherous obstacle course. At about 3PM the flicker turned into a permanent outage and we were in the dark until about 10PM. It has been estimated that about 150,000 NStar customers were without electric service yesterday and 25,000 are still without service today. Huge trees fell all over the Vineyard taking with them vital power and communications lines --- it was a mess. The weather people are calling this phenomenon created by the convergence of two fronts a Wintercane. Today we are back to a typically beautiful day and there is no snow on the ground, just tree limbs.

There are constant weather links on our web site,


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