Weather
6:52 am
Thu December 27, 2012

First Major Winter Storm Sweeps Into NH

Snow on Christmas lights makes the storm feel festive
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

New Hampshire is experiencing its first big snowstorm of the year, and so far there haven’t been many major problems.

However, speed limits have been reduced to 45 on the state’s major highways, and some flights are delayed at the Manchester airport.

The storm is causing scattered power outages. Unitil spokesman Alec O’Meara says about 7,600 customers lost power on the seacoast, but that outage was restored by just rerouting power around the effected line.

O’Meara: We’re seeing snow in our Concord service territory, but what we’re seeing on the coast is while there has been less snow, the winds are going to be much higher. Our third party service has indicated we might be seeing gusts as high as 40-45 miles per hour during the day today.

Different parts of the state are reporting between two and five inches of accumulation so far today. O’Meara urges New Hampshire residents to be prepared for power outages throughout the day.

Plenty of Storm Left

Snowplows are out in force today, but even so expect slow driving conditions throughout the day, because there will be plenty of storm left after today’s morning commute.

The National Weather Service says the center of the storm is still intensifying off Long Island, meaning there is still plenty of snow  to come that will be spun up into New Hampshire.

Meteologist Tom Hawley says there will be a clear line somewhere around Epping. On one side there could be as much as 14 inches of snow, and on the coastal side more like 1 to 4 inches.

The snowfall forecast out of the National Weather Service as of 6 am this morning
Credit NWS

But Hawley says on the coast there are other concerns.

Hawley: We're looking at tides running about two feet above normal today, and with 18 foot waves there's probably going to be a fair amount of coastal erosion.

He says seacoast residents can expect some minor flooding and high winds. For the rest of the state, snow will taper off sometime before 11 pm.

Great News for Ski Areas

Driving is treacherous across the state but so far accidents and power outages have been minimal in the state’s first Nor’Easter. But with there’s a silver lining to these clouds: the state’s ski areas are preparing for a busy weekend.

The old adage in the New Hampshire ski industry is that you don’t want a foot of snow on the slopes, you want it on the streets of Boston. Cannon Mountain’s marketing director Greg Keeler says even better is getting a big storm during a vacation week.

Keelor: Anecdotally, historically when you get a midweek storm, you know a regional midweek storm during christmas week, the following weekend is usually a pretty good weekend.

That’s great news for ski areas that are smarting after a tough season last year, and a slow start to the season this year.

Keeler says he so far this morning Cannon has about 4 inches, though it’s tough to tell because of drifting snow. He says frequently the White Mountains get most of their snow on the back-side of storms like this one, and he expects snow to add up quickly this afternoon

Forecast information from the National Weather Service in Gray, ME

School closing information from WMUR

Airline information/flight tracking for Manchester-Boston International (MHT)

511NH real time traffic/road closure information

Power outage maps: PSNH | Unitil | National Grid/Liberty | NH Electric Co-op

Live radar: