An underwhelming nor’easter largely spares Boston region

Sailboats in Jamaica Pond were turned upside down by the wind, but the first nor’easter of the season wasn’t as fierce as promised.
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Sailboats in Jamaica Pond were turned upside down by the wind, but the first nor’easter of the season wasn’t as fierce as promised.

The forecast promised torrential rainfall and menacing winds across the Boston region as a fierce nor’easter spun off the coast of New England.

Instead, wind speeds sputtered and Boston saw barely a drizzle of rain. Just 0.31 inches of rain had fallen in Boston as of 5 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

“It didn’t track as far north as we thought, so the heavy rain was confined to Cape Cod and the Islands,” Frank Nocera, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said of the underwhelming nor’easter. “For instance, Nantucket had over 3 inches of rain.”


Chatham and Harwich each had rain fall totals of 2.5 inches, while some areas on the outer Cape, which is closest to the storm, had 3 inches of rain, the weather service said Friday evening.

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But for those in Boston and beyond who were bracing for flooded basements and nights by candlelight, the first nor’easter of the season was kind of a snore.

Patriots fans kept their rain ponchos tucked away during Thursday night’s game against the Giants at Gillette Stadium. There were no mad dashes to the grocery store for residents to stock up on milk, bread, and batteries.

The nor’easter was “more of a nuisance” than a major weather event, Nocera said.

“Now it’s day two, day three here of light rain, chilly temperatures and onshore winds,” he said Friday. “Things will improve, especially [Saturday] afternoon.”


Jon Zolkowski, superintendent of Norfolk Golf Club in Westwood, expected 1 to 3 inches of rain based on the forecast. In preparation, he spread fertilizer and sprayed all the playing surfaces with products “that need to be washed in,” he explained. But between Wednesday afternoon and Friday, less than a quarter-inch of rain had sprinkled the golf course.

“It was just wet enough to be a nuisance, but not wet enough to get the job done,” Zolkowski said. “No matter how good or state-of-the-art the irrigation system, there’s just no duplicating a good rain.”

Ann Deluty of Stow was also looking forward to some rain. Deluty is on the landscape committee at her 55-and-over condo community, where the potted mums need watering, along with more than 100 newly installed bare-root plants.

“Without the rain, we have to fill water buckets in the trunks of our cars and drive around watering things. This is very disappointing,” she said. “It would be funny as a Hyacinth Bucket bit.”

Anne Marie Cacciatore of Reading made plans with a friend to go to the Topsfield Fair on Wednesday. But news of the poor weather forced her to change plans. So Cacciatore opted to see the new Judy Garland biopic instead.


Now she’s crossing her fingers for clearer skies in the days ahead. Cacciatore was looking forward to roaming the fairgrounds she enjoyed as a kid, playing some games, and perusing the gorgeous floral arrangements on display.

“Most of all,” she said, “my mouth was watering for the turkey sandwich.”

She will try her luck Sunday or Monday, as long as the promise of rain steers clear of the forecast.

Globe Correspondent Shannon Larson contributed to this story. Deanna Pan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @DDpan.