Massachusetts knows a thing or two about wild weather. In a state where it could be hailing in the morning and sweltering hot by afternoon, extreme weather comes as no surprise. However, a number of storms have gone down in Massachusetts history as the particularly deadly and destructive. Read on to learn about the worst weather the Bay State has ever experienced.
1. Hurricane Bob, 1991
Hurricane Bob struck Massachusetts on August 19, 1991. Though Bob wasn't the strongest or the most long-lasting storm to sweep through the state, this hurricane resulted in property damages totalling more than $39 million. This storm caused more than $2.16 billion in damages across New England, which made it the second costliest storm of all time in the United States. Southeast Massachusetts faced winds between 75 and 100 mph, while Brewster and Truro saw gusts around 125 mph! The storm caused Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket to permanently lose around 50 feet for shoreline.
2. The Great Blizzard of 1888
This blizzard was the deadliest in U.S. history – over 400 people across New England lost their lives. In some places, snow drift accumulation totaled over 50 feet! Flakes first began to fall March 11, and some people in Massachusetts were confined to their homes for over a week. Though the effects of this storm were greatest in New York, Massachusetts still suffered incredibly costly damages to infrastructure and private property.
3. "The Twins," 1954
In 1954, two hurricanes blasted Massachusetts in quick succession. Hurricanes Carol and Edna devastated parts of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, with Hurricane Carol becoming the most expensive storm ever to strike the country at that time. Making landfall in New England just 11 days apart, the two storms created winds reaching over 120 mph and took the lives of 21 people.
4. April Fool's Day Blizzard, 1997
What made this storm so nasty was its timing. Massachusetts was gearing up for spring when this storm hit; many shops had already put away their winter wares, plows were not active, and residents had already put out patio furniture. Striking between March 31 and April 1, this blizzard left thousands of people without power and deposited over three feet of snow on the ground.
5. The Great New England Hurricane, 1938
This storm actually developed off the coast of Africa before making landfall in Massachusetts in late September, 1938. Coastal communities suffered the worst from the storm's violence, with 99 people losing their lives. Flash flooding swept away the Chicopee Bridge, and New Bedford and Falmouth faced over 8 feet of flooding. Two thirds of all the boats docked in New Bedford harbor did not survive the storm.
6. The Blizzard of 1978
This storm dumped a then-record amount of snow on the Bay State. Boston received 27.1 inches of the white stuff, while Rockport was buried in over 32 inches. This blizzard killed at least 73 people in Massachusetts and injured over 4,500 people.
7. The Blizzard of 2005
This massive storm actually crossed the Atlantic Ocean and wreaked havoc in Great Britain after it was finished in New England. Conditions in Massachusetts during this late January storm were actually whiteout in some areas, and near-whiteout in many others. Multiple major traffic arteries were either completely impassable for days or only partially cleared. Snow drift accumulation was over 10 feet in many places.
8. The Blizzard of 2006
Though this storm affected all of New England, Massachusetts coastal towns were some of the hardest hit areas. Nantucket saw ocean surges of up to 25 feet. Central Massachusetts received over 20 inches of snow, and over 90% of flights in and out of all Massachusetts airports were cancelled for days following the storm.
9. Winter Storm Nemo, 2013
This storm dropped a record amount of snow in Boston produced hurricane-force winds that reached up to 102 mph. At least 18 people were killed by Nemo, and over 700,000 homes were left without power in the aftermath of the storm.
10. 1969 Nor'easter
Between February 8 and 10, over 26 inches of snow fell in Boston and similar amounts were dumped across the state. Winds were strongest on Cape Cod, where gusts reached up to 105 mph. During its peak, the storm was actually classified as an intense cyclone in the Cape Cod area.