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What you see is Beacon Hill. What you don't see is the Charles River. Take care when out in the snow and on the ice!

What you see is Beacon Hill. What you don’t see is the Charles River. Take care when out in the snow and on the ice!

Many of us enjoy winter in New England – from skiing and sledding to sipping hot cocoa and watching the gentle fall of snow outside. But, the one thing that might make our teeth chatter is the uncertainty of when the next intense winter storm will come.

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), and other state agencies, offer a variety of tools for a better understanding of how winter storms might impact their area and lives.

Named for their predominant winds, which blow from the northeast, northeasters can cause substantial damage to the Massachusetts coastline. Although they occur throughout the year, northeaster season typically runs from October through April, when cold arctic air from the north combines with warm, moist air from the south and forms strong areas of low pressure.

To help you stay safe and keep a close eye on approaching northeasters, CZM has compiled a great list of resources that will help you weather any storm. On the northeaster page, you’ll find the most relevant and up-to-the-minute prediction, tracking, and emergency management information.

This helpful resource from our partners at the Massachusetts Emergency Management provides more general tips on what to do before, during AND after a winter storm.

More about CZM Resources:

These tools are especially helpful for coastal residents, as CZM looks at high tides and sea level rise. The Massachusetts Resource Information System (MORIS) is a technical program, but it is also usable for a general audience.  Before using MORIS, check out MORIS tips for the public.

There are several other useful links for coastal residents. The Massachusetts Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Hazards  provides information to coastal homeowners on how to stay safe and minimize damages during hurricanes and northeasters.

If you are interested in identifying areas of the Massachusetts coast most vulnerable to erosion and flooding, looking at Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or maps depicting coastal flooding with sea level rise, check out Assessing Vulnerability of Coastal Properties .

CZM has a fact sheet available; it describes landscaping techniques that stabilize coastal bank and provides information on the benefits of coast-friendly landscaping. You can read more at StormSmart Coasts Fact Sheet 6: Landscaping to Protect Your Coastal Property from Storm Damage and Flooding. 

Written By:


Senior at Suffolk University (undergrad) studying Government and Environmental Studies. Originally from Vermont. Hobbies include scaling mountains and trees, as well as cooking. Interested in being part of a global power switch. Would like to be involved somehow with energy policy.

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