On Friday, two winter storms are expected to converge over the northeastern part of the country, creating what could be the biggest snow event in years.

Northeast Expects Major Snowstorm Nemo

Image: Weather.com

As you can see from the screen shot above (from weather.com), the storm has a name and a hash tag (#nemo) to allow tracking comments on social media outlets like Twitter.

(By the way, naming winter storms is a new thing. It was started by The Weather Channel last October. They claimed the names would help raise awareness and that’s important when it comes to getting people to prepare for potential storm-related disasters.)

“Nemo” is expected to deliver snow and ice from the northern tip of Delaware to Maine and beyond. How much snow will end up on the ground is anyone’s guess, but the computer models are saying that New York City and nearby parts of Connecticut will get a foot of snow while the Boston area is facing two feet or more.

NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg told reporters that the city’s fleet of plows and 250,000 tons of road salt have been put on standby. But the mayor also tried to put a positive spin on the storm, noting that the weekend arrival will make it easier for snow removal.

Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino has cancelled school, and advised the people of Beantown to stay home starting at noon on Friday.

Preparation for the storm is easily monitored

  • Schools in the region have announced early closings or complete closings for Friday
  • Airlines are taking action to avoid having planes trapped on the ground at snow-in airports. As of Friday morning, more than 3,000 flights have been cancelled.
  • Amtrak has announced that trains in its northeast corridor will stop running Friday afternoon
  • Food stores are reporting the expected rush to buy staples like milk, eggs, and bread
  • Hardware stores are seeing significant sales spikes for shovels, salt/snow melting products, and even generators

Curiously, the storm is hitting on the 35th anniversary of a snowstorm that dumped more than 27 inches of the white stuff on the northeast. February 7, 1978 was the last big snow event in Boston and the surrounding area. Like “Nemo”, the 1978 storm reached from New Jersey’s Atlantic City  (20 inches measured there). all the way to Maine. More than 4,000 injuries and an estimated 100 deaths were caused by the blizzard.

South Boston was a mess for days.

Northeast Expects Major Snowstorm Nemo

Image: Mercury News

In 1978, Michael Dukakis was the Governor of Massachusetts. He is seen below, monitoring the storm cleanup efforts from his rather low-tech office.

Northeast Expects Major Snowstorm Nemo

Image: Mercury News

See the rest of the 1978 photos from Mercury News here.