This already historic winter maybe throwing another storm at Boston and this one has the potential to complicate your Valentine’s Day plans.
Meteorologists say a storm this weekend could dump as much as a foot of snow on Boston, starting on Saturday afternoon.
The local restaurant industry is worried that one of the biggest and busiest days on their calendar could be snowed out at a time when they need the business. Bob Luz, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, said during one recent 17 day stretch that saw Mother Nature dump about six feet of snow on Boston, many restaurants were closed or “virtually closed” for six of those days.
The weather, he said, “is having a crippling effect on us.” Some restaurant workers, he said, haven’t been able to make a living in three weeks.
“I don’t think anyone in America has seen 17 days like this and those are just sales you’re not going to get back,” he said.
He said the industry is hoping people treat Valentine’s Day as a weekend-long holiday. He did acknowledge that if the storm does slam the area, some restaurants could accept walk-ins on Valentine’s Day night, which is usually a night that is fully booked for days before the holiday.
“I think everyone hopes it brushes out to sea,” he said.
William Kovel, the owner of Catalyst in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, said his business had been hurt by school cancellations, T service cancelations and parking bans. This winter is the worst for restaurants Kovel has seen in his 15 years in the industry.
“I think all businesses are feeling it, especially in the hospitality sector,” he said. “The volume of the snow has just made it unbearable.”
He said Valentine’s Day is “probably the biggest day of the first quarter” for his business.
“It sounds bad. You see another storm coming and a lot of us are rolling our eyes, saying ‘Really? You got to be kidding me,’” he said.
A trio of recent storms gave Boston its snowiest month-long period in its recorded history. School days were cancelled, the T was shut down and the city doubled its planned snow removal budget.
As of late Thursday morning, Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the snow could start sometime Saturday afternoon and last through Saturday afternoon into early Sunday. The worst of the storm will be Saturday night. The weekend promises to be blustery with wind speeds reaching 40 to 50 mile per hour.
“There’s potential for a significant storm to impact southern New England,” said Dunham.
If the storm intensifies farther north of Boston, said Dunham, the city will see less snow. If it intensifies farther south, the city will see more snow.
“It’s still two-and-a-half days away,” said Dunham. “Things can change.”