All eyes continue to be focused on the massive storm that's set to batter parts of the East Coast, and how it will impact New England.
A Blizzard Warning has been issued for Block Island and Martha's Vineyard, and Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for Barnstable, Bristol, Nantucket, Norfolk and Plymouth counties in Massachusetts, Bristol, Kent, Newport and Washington counties in Rhode Island and Fairfield, Middlesex, New Haven and New London counties in Connecticut through Sunday morning.
WHERE IT IS NOW
As of Friday evening, the snow is expanding through the Mid-Atlantic, already overspreading parts of Virginia and Washington, D.C.
WHERE IT GOES NEXT
The storm will continue to strengthen as it moves toward the coast tonight. It’s at that point when extremely heavy snow really starts pummeling the Mid-Atlantic. Many communities in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and around Washington, D.C. will pick up 1 to 2 feet of snow. It’s likely some spots pick up closer to 3 feet! That’s close to records.
Snowfall reaches New Jersey and New York early on Saturday morning. Totals in these areas will be significant, but will drop off rather quickly on the northern side of this storm.
NEW ENGLAND SNOWFALL
New England will also be on the northern fringes of this storm, with the first flakes flying to the south by the late morning and early afternoon hours of Saturday. It takes until afternoon for the snow to expand northward into the Boston area. The snow will then wind down early on Sunday morning.
Being closest to the storm, the South Coast faces the highest odds of meaningful accumulation. We’re currently expecting many cities and towns there to pick up around 6 inches of snow.
A Blizzard Warning is in effect for Block Island and Martha's Vineyard. Remember, a blizzard officially has nothing to do with how much snow actually falls. A blizzard is defined as having sustained winds of 35 mph with blowing snow reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile for at least three consecutive hours.
The numbers rapidly drop off as you head northward. Around the Boston area, we’re expecting just a dusting to a couple of inches.
SNOWFALL QUESTIONS LINGER
As you know, there is always some uncertainty in expected snowfall totals. This is no exception.
A small storm track deviation, on the order of just 30 to 50 miles, would shift the numbers referenced above. A slight tick northward would send plowable snows farther north into more of New England, while a small slip south would send most of the snow just offshore. We’ll be fine tuning the snow forecast right into the weekend, so do stay tuned.
In addition to the snow, it will be quite windy at the coast on Saturday and early Sunday. Northeast winds will gust 40 to 50 mph at times, with the potential for a few locally higher gusts than on the Cape and Islands.
The highest tides of the month are happening this weekend thanks to the full moon. That, combined with strong winds, will result in coastal flooding.
On Saturday, expect minor to moderate coastal flooding along parts of Long Island Sound in Connecticut.
By the Saturday night and Sunday morning high tides, minor coastal flooding is likely along east coastal Massachusetts as well. Surge values will likely be in the 1.5 to 2.5 foot range.
There may be pockets of minor coastal flooding south of Boston, particularly around Nantucket, during the Sunday morning high tide. Isolated surge values of up to 3 feet are possible there.