The nor'easter that has shut down much of New England on Tuesday is reaching its great arms into regions over both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, sucking moisture into the powerful storm.
In a technical forecast discussion on Monday night from the National Weather Service forecast office in Boston, meteorologists said the storm was even importing moisture from as far away as the Pacific Ocean.
The result — aided by the storm also drawing in cold air from Canada — is a blizzard wherein enough moisture and freezing temperatures can create copious snowfall and high winds.
Satellite images captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) weather satellite GOES-16, shows what exactly is going on with the storm from high above.
GOES-16 orbits more than 22,000 miles above Earth, allowing it to capture such wide-field images of the planet.
It's high-resolution cameras can also see detailed images of the *nor'easter*, including the eye-like feature near the center of the storm.
This is the third nor'easter — which is broadly defined as a winter storm with strong winds blowing from the northeast — to hit New England in two weeks.
The previous nor'easters, while bringing high winds and coastal flooding, lacked the right combination of cold air and high winds to result in a true blizzard, which has a strict meteorological definition.
Specifically, a blizzard is a storm that has sustained 35 mph winds (or greater) and enough blowing snow to reduce visibility to under a fourth of a mile for at least 3 consecutive hours. And that's what's happening for some parts of the Northeast today, including Boston.
This storm is also far from from finished, and it could become Boston's second-largest March snowstorm storm on record.