Region – Now we sit and wait. The storm continues to develop and track pretty much on schedule as outlined over the past few days. Not only will it be very intense, but will cover a very large geographical area, large enough so that minor changes in track will go unnoticed for the most part. It also will be very slow moving leading to a prolonged period of severe impacts, as outlined below.
Snow: A wide swath of southern New England, and central Massachusetts is right in the middle of it, will be looking at 1.5 to isolated areas of 3 feet or possibly a bit more when the storm is over. Latest data indicates that we will see between 2.5 and 3 inches of liquid equivalent precipitation during this storm. The standard rule of thumb is 1 inch of water will yield about 10 inches of snow. This ratio is dependent on temperature and the “fluff factor” of the snow – that is how dry it is. In temperatures like we currently have, even with a modified marine layer at higher levels, I would expect the ratio to be at least 15 to 1, which would mean 45 inches of snow from 3 inches of water. I doubt we will see 3 inches of water equivalent, but 2 to 2.5 inches is within reason, hence my forecast of up to 3 feet of snow in isolated areas.
Timing: Although there may be some flurries or very light snow (not associated with the main storm) beginning in the early afternoon, I do not expect the main snow shield to impact the greater Shrewsbury area until later this afternoon, likely around 5:00 P.M., give or take a little bit. Snow will become moderate to heavy around 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. and continue throughout the night and into Tuesday afternoon before tapering to light snow. The light snow or flurries will continue until the early morning hours of Wednesday before finally ending.
Wind: The wind will begin to pick up later this afternoon from the northeast, and will increase during the night to speeds of 20 to 25 mph with gusts at times approaching 50 mph. Strong winds will continue until later Tuesday afternoon when they will begin to diminish and shift to the north and northwest during Tuesday night. The strongest wind should be from midnight tonight through about noon Tuesday. The major impact will be to visibility and drifting. Visibility will fall to zero at times with heavily falling snow being blown around and drifting could become severe in exposed areas.
Temperature: Very cold arctic air is in place and will remain so for the duration of the storm. Temperatures will be limited to a narrow range, with highs topping off around 20 today through Wednesday and nighttime lows in the mid to high single digits. With the strong wind expected, wind chill values will sink to well below zero at times.
Summary: This storm will be talked about in the same sentences as the Blizzard of ’78 when it is all over. Strong winds will create blinding, white out conditions from time to time. Travel will become dangerous if not impossible. Temperatures and wind chill values will be low enough to threaten frostbite/hypothermia for persons outside without proper protection. Drifting could make exposed roadways impassable. Snow depths will be extreme, potentially reaching 3 feet in isolated locations. The general population should stay indoors and not venture out until the storm is over, to avoid getting in trouble and potentially putting first responders at risk as well.
Other Concerns: Along the coast winds will gust to hurricane force at times tonight and tomorrow, particularly over the outer Cape and Nantucket. There will be somewhat less snow in those locations but it will be wetter and stickier than here. That combination will most likely result in substantial tree and power line damage along the coast, and widespread and extended power outages are likely.
Coastal Flooding: There will be at least two tide cycles where pockets of moderate to major coastal flooding will occur, and beach erosion will be major to severe along east facing beaches through tomorrow into tomorrow night.
Marine Interests: Due to the long fetch and long duration of this storm, waves on the outer waters could be as high as 40 feet. Mariners at sea should proceed to safe harbor to take shelter from this storm and if still in port, do not venture out until wind and sea conditions moderate with the passage of this storm.
Beyond This: There are several more storms and rumors of storms in the pipeline. Also, there is a cold blast coming early next week that could be as extreme against temperatures as this approaching storm will be to snow. More on that later.
James M. Arnold is a Weather Specialist working with Shrewsbury Emergency Management Agency; town of Princeton; Worcester Emergency Communications and Emergency Management Agency; Southborough Emergency Management Agency; town of Grafton and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area]]>
Born in Great Barrington, she was the daughter of the late Guy and Madlyn (O’Brien) Drumm. She was educated in Great Barrington schools and was a graduate of Westborough High School. She also attended the Chandler School in Boston.
Gail was the co-founder of the Piccadilly Pub in Westborough, and in later years worked at the VCA Animal Hospital prior to her retirement.
She is survived by her three children, William Martin Jr. and his wife Robin, of Charlton, Craig Martin and his wife Jen of Englewood, Fla., and Tara Connor and her husband Paul of Auburn, and nine grandchildren, Bryan, Tyler, Jeremy, Tanner, Mackenzie, Landon, Camryn, Lauryn, and Addyson.
Her funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday, Jan. 26, at 10:30 a.m., in St. Luke the Evangelist Church, 70 West Main St., Westborough. Interment will be private. There are no calling hours. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of David A. Pickering, Westborough Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Worcester Animal Rescue League, 139 Holden St., Worcester, MA 01606.]]>
Northborough/Southborough – The Algonquin Regional High School Tomahawks boys’ basketball team fell to the Westford Academy Grey Ghosts Jan. 25 by a score of 50-48.
The Grey Ghosts led for most of the game, until the Tomahawks managed to take a one-point lead with about five minutes remaining in the game. The two teams then traded off the lead several times, with Algonquin holding on to a slim 48-47 lead with 1:03 left in the game. The Grey Ghosts managed a three-point shot with 0:41 left on the clock to regain the lead, and neither team was able to score in the remaining seconds. The clock wound down with a final score of 50-48 in favor of Westford.
Ten different players scored for Algonquin. Kyle Hill was the top Algonquin scorer with eight points. Joe Wallace and Trevor Casellini had seven points apiece. Christopher Imbriaco, Daniel Cornelius and Eric McCord each scored 12 points for Westford.
The Grey Ghosts’ record now stands at 14-1 on the season, while the Tomahawks fall to 4-9.
Born in Midland, Mich., he was the oldest son of the late James F. and Katharine (Comerford) Gunning. Jim was a 1975 graduate of Algonquin Regional School in Northborough, where he was recently inducted into their athletic hall of fame, and attended Bridgewater State University.
He worked for Walsh Brothers as a project manager for 27 years before working for J. Calnan Associates of Quincy as a project superintendent.
Jim had a zest for life and a love for family and friends. He was truly one of a kind. Jim and Trudy thoroughly enjoyed entertaining friends and family in their home, as they all meant the world to him. Paramount to Jim was his desire to bring people together to celebrate life.
He was a member of the Fayville Athletic Association and a poker club that consisted of his best childhood friends. A lover of music, fine food and wine, Jim was also an avid Boston sports fan. One of his favorite cheers was “Hip hip hooray!” Here’s to you, Jim, we will all miss you very much.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his siblings, Stephen Gunning of Southborough, Kevin Gunning and his wife Nancy of Southbury, Conn., Jack Gunning and his wife Tricia of Westborough, Paul Gunning and his wife Jeanne of Holden, Katie MacArthur and her husband Paul of Southborough, and Anne-Margaret Gunning and her partner Tamara Schurdak of New York City; his stepchildren, Amanda Weixel and her husband Ryan of Vista, Calif.; Stephanie Dobson and her husband Darren of Murrieta, Calif.; his grandchildren, Samantha, Jacob, and William; Jimmy, Marilyn and Bruce; his nieces and nephews; and his many, many friends.
Visiting hours will be held Thursday, Jan. 29, from 3-7 p.m., at the Morris Funeral Home, 40 Main St. (Route 30), Southborough. A Mass of Christian burial will be held Friday, Jan. 30, at 10 a.m., at St. Anne Church, 20 Boston Rd., Southborough. Burial will follow in the Southborough Rural Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be sent in his memory to Algonquin Boosters Club, 79 Bartlett St. Northborough, MA 01532.
To leave words of condolence, visit www.morrisfuneralparlor.com.]]>
Phyllis was born Feb. 28, 1924 in Worcester, and was the daughter of the late Arthur and Eliza (Rondeau) Plaisance. She was predeceased by her husband of 58 years, Thomas W. Robbio Jr., infant son Andrew Robbio, step-son Thomas Robbio, step-daughter Susan Pappas, brothers Alcide and Walter Plaisance, and sister Anita Maniero.
She is survived by her loving daughter, Carolyn and her husband, Pasquale Curini of Shrewsbury, as well as her grandchildren, Derek Pappas, Gianna Lauricella and her husband Benjamin, Pietro Curini and his fiancé Bess Child, Miriam Agostinho and her husband Michael, and a great-grandson, Nicola “Nico” Lauricella. She will always be remembered as a loving Memere. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews and her dear friend, Josie Wagner.
Phyllis was a graduate of Shrewsbury High School and worked in Shrewsbury at the A&P Supermarket, CVS, and the Beal School in the cafeteria. She was a faithful communicant of St. Anne’s Parish and served as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion for many years. She also volunteered her time at the Shrewsbury Senior Center for many years.
She enjoyed bowling, cooking, and was an expert in sewing, knitting, and crocheting. She was also an avid reader and liked using her computer as often as she could. She touched the lives of many and was loved by all who knew her. She will be missed dearly.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Overlook Hospice for their wonderful, compassionate care throughout Phyllis’ illness.
Phyllis’s funeral was planned for Tuesday, Jan. 27 (please note this could change due to the winter storm due to hit Monday night through Wednesday morning) from the Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel, 370 Plantation St., Worcester, with a Mass of Christian burial at 10:30 a.m. in the Church of St. Anne, 130 Boston Tpke., Shrewsbury. A calling hour will be held from 9-10 a.m. in the funeral home prior to leaving for church. Interment will be with her husband in Mountain View Cemetery of Shrewsbury.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations in her name to St. Anne’s Human Services.130 Boston Tpke., Shrewsbury, MA 01545.
To leave a message of condolence for the family or share a special memory of Phyllis, visit her memorial site at www.mercadantefuneral.com.]]>
Baseball programs are available for players born between Jan. 1, 2010 and May 1, 2002. Softball programs are available for players born between Jan. 1, 1997 and Dec. 31, 2009.
Visit www.westborolittleleague.org for more information and to sign up. Scholarships are available.]]>
Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. The Rotary Club of Westborough has served the community since its inception in 1969. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 33,000 Rotary Clubs located in more than 200 countries.
Locally the Rotary Club of Westborough has supported the community in a variety of ways including providing more than $500,000 in scholarship assistance to local high school graduates, assisting Westborough Youth & Family Services with its annual free holiday store and lighting the downtown rotary for the holidays each year.
The Club meets each Wednesday at the Chateau Restaurant in Westborough from 12:00 pm until 1:30 pm. For more information visit www.westboroughrotary.org.]]>
Southborough - For Southborough residents Lisa and Matt Braccio, volunteering is simply part of their life.
“Volunteering is important to us,” Lisa said. “We live in a wonderful community, and it is good to give back.”
Both Matt and Lisa – “Matt, to the greater extent,” said Lisa – and their 12-year-old son, Robert, have been actively involved with Southborough Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for over five years. And their volunteering extends beyond the community as well. In 2005, Lisa organized a care package drive for U.S. troops, an event which would take place biannually for the next eight years.
The care package drive was the result of Lisa’s reaction to an online link to anysoldier.com. She was moved when she read the words of the soldiers posted on the website, and by their requests for simple items like toothbrushes and toothpaste. She had never considered that military service personnel might be lacking for basics or that in combat zones supplies were not easily replenished.
Lisa was determined to bring “a touch and taste of home” to soldiers stationed far from friends and family. Care packages shipped to military members in need were individualized, based on information provided by the contact person at anysoldier.com, but usually contained personal hygiene items, books, DVDs and snacks. For an October care package, children collected bright autumn leaves, laminated them, and tucked them among the other goodies for a “touch of fall.” Girl Scouts donated 1,500 boxes of cookies in May. School children sent cards and letters with each shipment, some leading to pen pal correspondence between students and soldiers.
“If we could bring [a soldier] home for one minute out of one day by opening a [care package] box, that was our goal,” she explained.
With Matt’s help, and an outpouring of volunteers from Southborough and surrounding towns, as well as churches, schools, civic and community organizations, that goal was met for many service men and women. By May of 2013, volunteers had shipped over 200,000 pounds of donated goods and 9,000 care package boxes. The American Legion of Marlborough helped pay the postage, which started at $7 per box in 2005, and by 2013 had climbed to $19 per box.
“Little kids [even] came in with piggy banks,” Lisa recalled, “wanting to help pay for postage. I was humbled by the response of the community. Everyone wanted to do something; we just made it easy.”
Each year, each drive saw “more and more amazing volunteers.” In fact, Lisa downplayed the role she played in the effort, insisting that she was only “a cog in the wheel.”
The volunteers had such a “fine, oiled machine in place that we could have walked away, and it would have run fine on its own,” she explained.
Although husband Matt’s participation was “mostly behind the scenes” during the care package drives, his role in Southborough’s CERT program has been more visible.
Matt became interested in joining CERT after a major snowstorm several years ago, when he saw how undermanned the police and fire department were.
“I wanted to find a way to help,” he said.
CERT trains volunteers in basic disaster response skills and how to provide assistance and support to professional responders. Volunteers participate in mock disaster drills and attend ongoing safety education.
For Matt, an electrical contractor, safety is always a concern. He recalled a storm that occurred around Halloween of one year, in which downed wires were everywhere in town.
“I was worried about kids being electrocuted,” said Matt, who worked to get wires off the roads and helped maintain non-hazardous access for the public. He acknowledged that his background as an electrician has been useful on several occasions.
“As members of CERT, we really feel welcomed and appreciated by the fire and police departments,” he added. “Really part of the team.”
The Braccios, including son Robert, also volunteer as family team for non-emergency CERT situations, such as directing traffic at road races or local events.
Lisa and Matt said that Robert, whether helping out at the care package drive or with traffic control for CERT, loves to volunteer.
“We want Robert to know that it is good to give back,” Lisa said.
“We’re trying to instill in our son that we have to help where we can help,” he said. “And that’s what it’s all about.”]]>