Vineyarders woke up to blustery and snowy conditions Friday morning as a strong winter storm hit the Island overnight. Temperatures will continue to drop throughout the day.
According to the National Weather Service, heavy snow will begin to taper off from west to east with blowing and drifting continuing into the afternoon. Total snow accumulations were approximately eight inches. Heavy snow and near blizzard conditions will continue this morning. The Steamship Authority cancelled ferry trips but will resume them at noon today. Subsequent trips will be made on a case by case basis.
Roads are deserted but a brave soul ventures forth.
— Mark Lovewell
The forecast calls for “bitterly cold wind chills” through tonight. Temperatures are expected in the upper 20s today and will fall into the single digits tonight. The weather service is predicting wind chills of 15 below late tonight and into tomorrow.
The winter storm warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. Friday.
Island schools and all government offices are closed today. The Tisbury parking ban has been extended to 6 p.m. Friday to accommodate for plowing. The Vineyard Transit Authority has suspended all routes until 12 p.m. Friday.
There are no reported power outages according to NStar.
Both locations of Cronig's Market in Vineyard Haven and West Tisbury are open and will remain open for the rest of the day. Stop & Shop in Edgartown is also open.
Alex Paiva shovels a path to the Wharf. Big snow can bring on a big thirst.
— Mark Lovewell
Martha's Vineyard Airport is closed, manager Sean Flynn said. Airport crews are plowing the runway, but due to the low temperatures, ice could continue to be a factor. The airport does not use any chemicals to help with the de-icing process. The airport closed overnight, Mr. Flynn said.
“It will be a while for us,” he added. “Even after we take the snow off it will be a sheet of ice, so we're going to wait for the weather to cooperate.”
A high tide is expected around noon today, with larger swells anticipated due to the astronomical tide.
The Chappy Ferry is operating for emergency trips only. Ferry owner Peter Wells reports a steady wind at 30 miles per hour and as high as 45 miles per hour this morning. The wind is dying down but the tide is on its way, he said. Mr. Wells said there is about a half a foot of water in the town parking lot by the Old Sculpin
Gallery, and similar flooding is occurring on the Chappy side.
“We're telling people we'll know what's going on by 2 p.m.,” he said. “The tide should be dropping by then.”
For now, he's enjoying the snow.
“The snow is so light and fluffy, it's just incredible,” he said. “I've been driving through two-foot drifts in my truck no problem.”