At the Lucky Finn Cafe, customers ordered egg sandwiches while awaiting the snowstorm’s arrival Tuesday morning. Susan McHugh estimated the shop had sold 40 to 45 sandwiches.
“There’s nothing you can do but wait and let it go by,” said McHugh, 61, who’s in charge of food at the cafe. Customers kept wondering when the storm would get there.
They got their answer shortly before 10 a.m., as the wind began to churn and the snow started to fly.
The cafe was one of the few businesses open, aside from a few convenience stores.
Tuesday’s storm brought less snow than expected to Rhode Island, turning to rain by early afternoon. But for many, the change of weather was hardly a blessing.
State Police reported flooding of major roadways because of blocked storm drains. And homeowners muscled shovels and blowers against snow the consistency of butter cream frosting — getting denser by the minute as the rain fell.
According to unofficial observations posted by the National Weather Service, snow totals ranged from 1 to 12 inches, with most areas getting about 5 or 6 inches — much less than the foot or more predicted.
But the winds did not disappoint, gusting as high as 63 miles per hour in Narragansett, where a turbine was toppled.
FELICE J. FREYER
The National Weather Service declared Tuesday afternoon that Worcester was the first city in the state to officially experience a blizzard as part of the nor’easter that enveloped the US Northeast. But about three hours later, the weather agency said the designation was made erroneously.
A blizzard requires at least three hours of sustained wind or frequent gusts of 35 miles per hour or greater, and considerable falling or blowing snow that reduces visibility to less than a quarter mile. In a tweet at just past 2 p.m., the weather service announced that blizzard conditions had been present in Worcester since about 10:30 a.m.
Late on Tuesday afternoon, however, meteorologist Alan Dunham said that upon recalculating, Worcester did not in fact have a blizzard.
The city only had blizzard conditions for 1 hour and 51 minutes, he said, and then for an additional 25 minutes, but that fell outside the three-hour window.