Updates on what to expect with the upcoming major East Coast winter storm:
- Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian Mountains still in line for one and a half to three feet of snow
- In New England, the most snow falls the farther south one is, generally speaking
- Parts of Cape Cod and the Islands - particularly the Outer Cape and Nantucket - may see a mix with or change to rain, limiting amounts
- Start times: Friday evening in Washington, DC; Saturday morning in New York City; By late morning South Coast of Connecticut; Early afternoon South Coast of RI/MA; Early to middle afternoon Saturday Cape/Islands; developing slowly north through Southern New England Saturday evening
- Damaging wind gusts Mid-Atlantic Saturday - gusts to 45 mph possible South Coast of New England Saturday evening and night
- Moderate to major coastal flooding Mid-Atlantic Saturday, minor coastal flooding Eastern MA coast overnight Saturday night (midnight) and Sunday noon
- Major travel impact for Northeast corridor
We're expecting a sharp northern cut-off to the snow. This far out, pinpointing that cut-off is quite challenging, but we do believe it will end up somewhere south of the Massachusetts Turnpike...though light accumulations can still occur farther north owing to a persistent moist ocean flow into cold air, which typically produces light snow. Given the likelihood of this sharp northern snow drop-off, a small change in track would have big implications along this dividing line - expect us to add our usual specific amounts, and tighten the snow to no-snow drop-off as we gain clarity. As mentioned in the bullet points above, start times are: Saturday morning in New York City; By late morning South Coast of Connecticut; Early afternoon South Coast of RI/MA; Early to middle afternoon Saturday Cape/Islands; developing slowly north through Southern New England Saturday evening. Worst impact in Southern Connecticut is late Saturday evening, in Southeast and Eastern Massachusetts it's likely evening to overnight. Snow will still be falling Sunday morning in Eastern Southern New England but should wrap up after the first half of the day.
Damaging wind gusts will occur on the north side of the storm circulation, which will include the Mid-Atlantic from Maryland through New Jersey, with gusts over 55 mph producing scattered power outages on Saturday. The risk for more widespread outages exists just inland of the coasts in these areas, where heavy, wet snow will couple with the wind to strain trees, limbs and power lines. In these heavy snow areas, as well as on Long Island, the potential for white out conditions from snow and wind means blizzard conditions are possible Saturday, which is why Blizzard Watches have been issued. Pending a northward shift in the storm track, New England appears to stay outside of the corridor of strongest wind, but gusts to 45 mph will still be possible Saturday late evening and night along our South Coast from Connecticut to Cape Cod. Though some mixing of rain is likely on the Cape, all snow areas from Connecticut to Rhode Island may see near-blizzard conditions briefly IF the idea of a heavy snow band setting up over you verifies.
Though coastal flooding is expected to be moderate to major in New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic, New England remains north of the worst wind, and therefore north of the worst waves. Nonetheless, a high tidal level associated with the full moon means minor coastal flooding is possible at the Eastern shorelines of Massachusetts in the typically vulnerable locations Saturday overnight at midnight and again Sunday midday. At this time, pending a shift in the storm track northward, worse coastal flooding is not expected in Eastern New England at this time.