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From the Field: Boston Day 2

I’m watching the local 11pm news, and weather twitter is exploding about Monday and Tuesday and the 0z HRRR and “wording.” I don’t have the brain cells to look up why but it’s making me nervous chuckle because…this next one man lol. I can’t process all that now. Tomorrow, on the train back.

Today was day 2 of Field Producing for Meteorologist Jane Minar in the field. I watched ocean-effect snow quickly change to rain last night. I woke up this morning at 6a and shot out of bed to get video. It was snowing pretty good, but none of it stuck. Huge, soaking wet flakes…no accumulation.

(Slightly) Warm(er) air off the ocean, drawn in by east winds, kept the city just warm enough to negate the first wave. There would be another shot later, but I was suddenly a little more worried about how uncomfortable Jane, Lloyd and I were gonna get out there. Cold is one thing, cold and soaked…no.

I got back to my room and requested a couple weather map graphics for Jane’s hit. We were trying to feature the coming flash freeze and road temps, both things that were important to the story in Boston today. Especially now that the story was definitively not about their snow totals.

We were now hoping for 2-4” as the storm pivoted out to sea this afternoon. I cut and edited the video I shot on my phone, and sent it in to FOX Weather HQ. I showered and slammed a coffee. It was a 4-layers-of-pants day.

Jane, Lloyd and I met in the hotel coffee shop before loading into the FOX Weather Beast production truck. Jane was scheduled as a reporter today, so we would be much more mobile than yesterday. We knew we wanted to start the day close to the water, so we drove back to a spot I had taken some footage at the night before. Lloyd spotted an overhang that could give us cover and the harbor was choppy and splashing up onto the sidewalk. Our first hit was at 9:15a for FOX’s streaming-only news channel LIVE NOW. We had some nice snow ongoing, thankfully.

We did our first FOX Weather hits there, then hopped in the truck and switched to beast mode.

Jane was shotgun and there was a camera on her, so we could report on the storm from the road and show road conditions. We had a roof camera that we could switch to as well. I snuck in the shot by default.

We made our way to Boston Common, a big Central Park-esque spot with hills and old-growth trees. Our first hits there we continued to talk about the coming flash freeze, showing wet parts of the walkways that were slowly freezing up.

Then, the winds changed. The snow started picking up. First, more big flakes. Slowly, they stopped melting on contact as the temps started to fall. A magic scene started unfolding in the park. As the snow started coming, we saw more and more people coming out to take in the scene. I ran toward the dog park area to get some interview/sound bites.

It was pouring snow as Jane wrapped up her 1pm hit which took us to our lunch break. The views in the park and on Beacon street were cinematic as we dashed into a Starbucks to take the only break we would get.

I edited the sound bites together with some video while I slammed a slice of Pumpkin Bread and a hot coffee. I was soaked but loving it. It’s something I would normally do for fun on a storm like this anyway. We watched as the city plows started coming out in full force. The road conditions quickly became our story focus.

We hopped back into the beast for our next few hits. Lloyd ended up behind a salt truck and we followed it to the salt depot. We parked the car on the street and ran inside to ask if we could park inside the salt depot for four minutes to get shots of the trucks being filled with salt. It was a great visual.

We then made our way back to Union Street Park II as the sun started going down. We stopped to see if Mystical Appearance Paul was in the bar, but no luck. The views were still great, but this time, draped in white.

My toes were frozen as we wrapped and headed to the hotel. I took a 20min nap and FaceTimed my wife Eileen. Then out of nowhere we got a message from the Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel to meet for dinner. It was right by the hotel, so we just walked over. I’ve watched him on TWC since childhood. It was fun to chat about our experiences that day during the storm, he was west of us into the heavier totals. My goal for dinner was a lobster roll with butter, and dang it, I got it.

I was proud of how we kept up with the weather story today, and this weekend in general. It wasn’t the high end outcome as far as snow. But it was a very dynamic storm and I was glad to be a part of it.

All the snow in the northeastern U.S. has set the stage for storm 2, which is about to trigger a Blizzard and a Severe Outbreak in the Midwest and South. By the time it gets to New England, it will slam into all the snowpack leftover from this weekend. The flood threat for the east coast is high.

I’m trying to get “read in” on the next storm on the Amtrak. I keep falling asleep, so I will leave it here. Thankful for this trip. Another storm awaits.


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