The beginning of December marked an abrupt start to winter for the state of Massachusetts. From Sunday, Dec. 1, until Tuesday, Dec. 3, the state was bombarded by an intense winter storm that the National Weather Service described as a “long duration, messy event.”
The storm occurred in two rounds. The first round began with snow on Sunday afternoon that affected Central New York and Western Massachusetts mostly. According to masslive.com, some parts of Worcester County had already seen seven to nine inches of snow by 10 p.m. on Sunday, with much more to come.
According to patch.com, over one hundred schools and school districts were closed on Monday, Dec. 2. Most of the closings occurred west of highway I-495, though several schools in Eastern Massachusetts were closed or delayed as well.
UMass Boston students had no such luck on Monday morning; very little snow had accumulated by that time, and though there were intense winds and rain on campus, classes remained in session throughout the day on Monday.
From Monday night early into Tuesday morning, Boston saw the majority of its snow, with the second round of the storm dumping snow on the coast of the state. The city fell under a winter storm warning on Monday afternoon that lasted until noon on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, over one hundred schools in Massachusetts had been closed once again, this time, with the majority of the closures occuring in Eastern Massachusetts. Some students even saw an extra long Thanksgiving break, having been dismissed early from school on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and having their schools closed on both Monday and Tuesday.
At 4:14 a.m., students registered to the UMass Boston Alert System received a text message announcing the closure of the university for Tuesday, Dec. 3, that meant the cancellation of all activities and classes scheduled to be held throughout the day.
Several other schools and universities in Boston were closed as well, including Boston Public Schools.
The MBTA faced many challenges in dealing with the winter weather on Monday and Tuesday. The storm mostly impacted the commuter rail system, which delayed and cancelled several trains within this time frame. According to boston.com, 91.2 percent of commuter rail trains were on time within twenty minutes during this time-frame. MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo commented that the “subway system has performed well over the past two days.” Both systems saw one non-weather related incident resulting in delays during this time frame.
By Tuesday afternoon, snow totals from the forty-four hour event were reported by the National Weather Service. The final count ended at 12 p.m. on Tuesday. Towns in Worcester county had the highest snowfall totals, with Winchendon, Royalston and Hubbardston all receiving 25 inches of snow by the time the storm finally wound down. According to patch.com, several other towns in Western Massachusetts also got two feet of snow, and towns in Eastern Massachusetts such as Dracut and Littleton got nearly a foot and a half of snow. Boston snow totals were not extensively recorded, however, totals in Suffolk County ranged from 1.8 inches in East Boston, to 5.5 inches in Chelsea.
In total, the National Weather Service reported that the storm, in its entirety, dumped at least a foot of snow across 25 states, and according to The New York Times, brought snow to at least 30 states. According to usatoday.com, thousands of flights leaving out of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts were cancelled or delayed on Monday and Tuesday.