Say it ain’t snow

Snow covered the fields Tuesday morning at Red Pony Farm in West Tisbury. – Nicole Jackson

Updated 3:30 pm Wednesday

Martha’s Vineyard schools are canceled for a second day on Wednesday. ACE MV classes are canceled Wednesday evening.

Edgartown is opened a shelter in the Edgartown School gym. The shelter will be open from 8 pm to 7 am, according to Edgartown Police.

Transportation to the shelter can be provided upon request. The shelter is being staffed by Edgartown Fire personnel.

Meanwhile, Aquinnah is opening its town hall for people who need a warm place to go, according to that town’s police department. According to online maps, 100 percent of the town has been without power for most of the afternoon and evening and “it appears that power will be out overnight,” according to police.

West Tisbury Library is closed on Wednesday.

The Steamship Authority, after suspending all of its ferries on Tuesday, has cancelled the following ferries for Wednesday:

M/V MARTHA’S VINEYARD 6:00AM Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole

M/V WOODS HOLE 6:00AM Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven

M/V WOODS HOLE 7:00AM Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole

M/V KATAMA 1:35PM Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven

M/V KATAMA 2:50PM Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole

M/V WOODS HOLE 1:15PM Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven

M/V WOODS HOLE 2:30PM Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole

M/V WOODS HOLE 3:45PM Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven

M/V WOODS HOLE 5:00PM Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole

M/V KATAMA 4:05PM Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven

M/V KATAMA 5:20PM Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole

M/V WOODS HOLE 6:15PM Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven

M/V WOODS HOLE 7:15PM Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole

M/V WOODS HOLE 8:30PM Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven

M/V WOODS HOLE 9:30PM Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole

Other trips will be on a trip-by-trip basis.

Heavy, wet snow fell throughout the day and with gusty winds. Aquinnah recorded a gust of 66 mph, according to the National Weather Service

On Monday, the National Weather Service upgraded the winter storm watch to a blizzard warning for Dukes County, from 11 pm Monday until 8 pm on Tuesday, with snow accumulation ranging from 10 to 18 inches. According to the NWS bulletin, “Winds gusting up to 65 miles an hour will cause whiteout conditions. Wet snow and strong winds will result in some power outages and tree damage.”

The storm is tracking east of Nantucket, which puts southeastern Massachusetts in its path. This would be the third nor’easter to hit the region in less than two weeks, including one earlier this month where wind speeds reached hurricane force, causing widespread damage on the Island.

Unlike the last two storms, when the Vineyard dodged the heavy snowfall, it appears the Cape and Islands are going to get the brunt of it this time.

A high wind watch is also in effect for the Cape and the Islands. Winds 30 to 40 mph, with gusts up to 65 mph, are expected. The timing is Tuesday morning for the strongest winds, which could cause damage to trees, power outages, and property damage.

Because of the heavy, wet snow, power outages are likely, according to the alert.


A parking ban is in effect for Main Street in Vineyard Haven, according to the Tisbury Police Department.

Martha’s Vineyard schools are cancelled for Tuesday.

All Oak Bluffs Town Offices will be closed on Tuesday, March 13, due to the winter storm. Selectmen meeting is also postponed with no date given for the board to meet.

The Barn, Bowl and Bistro will be closed all day Tuesday.

West Tisbury offices will be closed.

All Edgartown offices, library and council on aging are closed Tuesday.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who was scheduled to visit the Island on Tuesday to sign community compacts in Tisbury and Oak Bluffs, has canceled.

All Massachusetts courts are closed.

The town of Tisbury is expecting offices to be closed Tuesday.

Coast Guard warns mariners

Pre-storm assessment teams from Coast Guard Sectors Boston and Southeastern New England visited and contacted local marinas and facilities to ensure storm preparations were in place, and assessed shorelines to identify any risks to the maritime environment, such as unsecured vessels, paddle craft, or marine debris.

Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod air crews are flying storm tracks ahead of the storm to warn mariners of the impending heavy weather.

Coast Guard Cutter Spencer, a 270-foot cutter homeported in Boston, will stage off the coast to respond to offshore search and rescue emergencies.

Due to the expected extreme conditions, some Coast Guard assets may have limited ability to respond to vessels in distress. Therefore, waterfront operators, mariners, fishing vessels, recreational boaters, and the general public should exercise extreme caution as conditions begin to deteriorate.

All boaters, and those living along coastal communities, are urged to secure their small craft, including canoes, kayaks, and paddle craft, due to the expected high winds and heavy seas. Unmanned, adrift craft often result in complex, unnecessary searches thereby reducing the Coast Guard’s capability to respond to actual distress at sea. Also, please clearly mark all paddle craft with owner’s name and contact information.

Ferry service

This morning, the Steamship Authority issued this special advisory:

The Steamship Authority has suspended all of today’s remaining ferry service for Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket due to high winds and rough seas.

Ferry service for Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket will resume on a trip by trip basis as soon as the wind and sea conditions improve.

The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning until Tuesday, March 13, 8 pm. For additional information on the storm please refer to

The Steamship Authority advises its customers to check its website for further updates.

To make or modify a reservation please call 508.477.8600, online at, or visit one of the terminals.

On Monday, SSA suspended service through 12 noon. 

Situational awareness

Heavy snow continues to fall across Massachusetts. Southeastern MA, where heavy, wet snow continues to fall and winds are gusting up to 65+ mph, is experiencing significant power outages at this time. There were no significant impacts during this morning’s high tide, which was the only high tide cycle of concern.

The following is a summary of the 9:00 AM briefing from the National Weather Service:

Heavy Snow/Potential Impacts:

  • Heavy snow will continue to fall through late afternoon. 1 to 3″ per hour snowfall rates are possible with the highest risk across eastern MA.
  • Blizzard conditions are possible across all of coastal Massachusetts with strong winds creating blowing/drifting snow.
  • Heavy snow should wind down starting around 3-4 PM in western Massachusetts and 7-8 PM in eastern Massachusetts, impacting the Tuesday PM commute. Bands of moderate to heavy snow will persist into the evening and snow showers will likely persist into early Wednesday morning over much of the state.
  • Forecast snowfall totals are 6-12” in western MA, 12-18” (with locally higher totals of up to 20” possible) in central and eastern MA, and up to 18-24” for southeastern MA and portions of Cape Cod.

Strong Wind Potential:

  • Strongest winds through early Tuesday afternoon.

o   50 to 65 mph wind gusts along the immediate eastern MA Coast/Cape and Islands.

o   40 to 50 mph wind gusts across interior eastern MA/RI.

  • Tree damage and power outages are possible, with the greatest risk along the immediate eastern MA coast and the Cape and Islands.
  • High impact for the marine community with 45 to 60 knot wind gusts and 30+ foot seas on Tuesday.

Power Outage Threat:

  • Wetter, heavier snow along and southeast of the Boston – Providence corridor, coupled with 50-65 mph wind gusts, will result in an enhanced risk for tree damage and power outages. The greatest risk for power outages remains across southeast Plymouth County and the Cape and Islands where the heavy wet snow and strong winds will persist the longest. The wet snow along the Boston to Providence corridor will become drier as the day goes on, but initially the wet snow and strong winds may result in an increased likelihood of power outages in this area.
  • Outside of this area, the snow is expected to be much drier in nature compared to the last storm, so widespread tree damage/power outages are NOT expected in this area. Isolated power outages are still possible along the coast from the strong winds, but nothing like the past event.
  • Travel conditions are anticipated to be difficult for restoration crews and forecast wind gusts may impede restoration efforts. Full restoration is likely to be a multi-day effort.