Major Winter Storm, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

When we last left this subject, we had Tornadoes, snow, ice, and me pulling my hair out over the newest NAM model giving Boston a foot of snow.    Oh New England, what am I going to do with you?

rain and snow

On to Virginia and the Mid Atlantic!!

West Virginia and Virginia:

Moving north from my last post into Virginia, only the Southeast portions of the state will get straight rain, most areas will have cold air being brought down for what could be a historic blizzard for portions of the state.

Blizzard Warnings are in effect for Charles, St. Mary, Calvert, Prince William, Manasas, Stafford, Spotsylvania and King George Counties.  This warning is from 1 PM Friday to 6 AM Sunday.  Heavy snow will begin Friday afternoon and while it may mix with sleet for a time east if I-95, It will change back to all snow Saturday afternoon.  18 to 24 inches of snow are expected in this region with the lower amounts near the bay.  Winds will be gusting up to 55 mph in  this area and I would strongly advise that no one in this region head out Friday night.

Winter Storm Warnings are in effect from Southeast West Virginia along and north of highway 460 towards Lynchburg and on to Appomattox.  16 to 24 inches of snow will fall in this area with the highest amounts in the Blue Ridge region. Snow will be heaviest during the mid-morning through midafternoon hours and gusty winds will reduce visibilities down to 0 in the higher terrain.

Further South and East, Central Virginia and the Interior Northern Neck region will have snow picking up late Friday morning and getting heavy at times during the afternoon and evening.  Sleet and Freezing rain may mix in some as the original low pressure system moves the west of this area before dying out as the secondary pushes north.  This changeover and possible change to rain on Saturday will help keep totals down in the 7-15 inch range with the higher totals in the Piedmont regions of central Virginia to the West and North of Richmond.

Down in the Southeast corner of the state, interior regions near Emporia, Wakefield and Williamsburg will see even lesser amounts as sleet and rain mix in with the snow.  After the mix, this area will turn to rain and have seen 2-5 inches of snow.  Though a fresh coating to an inch may occur as the precipitation changes back to snow on the backside of the low.

Heading back to West Virginia,  Central and Northwest areas of the state and including Western portions of Maryland from Hagerstown West, are set to see 18-24 inches of snow between Friday afternoon and Saturday evening.  Snow will be at its heaviest overnight Friday with strong Northeast winds reducing visibilities and making some roads in the mountains impassable.

Maryland D.C. and Delaware

Jumping over to the Eastern shore of Maryland.  The Southern tip of the Eastern shore will see snow begin Early Friday afternoon, but for those in Dorchester County, the warm oceans will mix in sleet and freezing rain before changing over to all rain for a time but additional snow accumulations are expected by Saturday afternoon and into Saturday night, leaving the county with about 6-12 inches of snow.  Even lower amounts are expected towards Wicomico and Somerset counties, as well as Inland Sussex County in Maryland, and Cape May County and Coastal Ocean County in New Jersey, where 2 to 6 inches may fall and Winter Storm Watches are in effect.  Sleet and then Rain will be a major factor in this area as temperatures climb into the upper 30s late Friday and stay that way through Saturday afternoon.  Worcester County will see very little snow and ice and accumulations of less than 2 inches are expected before the changeover to rain in this area.

For the remainder of the Eastern Shore and Kent and New Castle Delaware, 10 to 16 inches of snow is possible from Friday night into Sunday morning.  Blizzard conditions are possible during the day on Saturday as heavy snow, high winds, and cold temperatures combine before tapering off.

For the remainder of Maryland and D.C, Blizzard Warnings are in effect from 3 PM Friday until 6 AM Sunday, expect starting at 6 PM near Baltimore.   The Eastern Suburbs of DC and Baltimore can expect 18 to 24 inches of snow as sleet mixes in along and east of 95, but the western suburbs are in the bullseye as 24 to 30 inches of snow will fall where sleet does not mix with the snow.  Winds will gust to 50 mph creating whiteout conditions overnight Friday.  Anyone living in this area will want to be off the roads by early to mid-Friday afternoon.

rain and snow

Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York:

Much of the action with this system will take place in Southern and Eastern Pennsylvania.

In the West, Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for Washington, Westmoreland, Allegheny, and Indiana Counties including Pittsburgh for 4-6 inches of snow beginning on Friday afternoon and ending late Saturday afternoon.  Just east of there, Cambria, Blair, Huntington, Mifflin, Juniata and Schuylkill Counties are under Winter Storm Watches for 4-8 inches of snow during the same time period.  From Greene County over to York County and up to Dauphin and Lebanon Counties, Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for 6 to 12 inches of snow with as much as 24 inches along the Maryland border in places.

The bullseye region for here is from Philadelphia down to just inland of Atlantic City up through Trenton, Newark, New York City and out to Long Island.  Blizzard Watches are in effect for 8-16 inches of snow.  Less by the coastlines and more inland.  Blizzard conditions are possible during the day and evening on Saturday as heavy snow, winds as high as 40 mph, and cold temperatures combine before tapering off.

For Counties further inland, a line from the city of Reading, through Allentown and Morristown to West Milford and into Peekskill New York and the rest of the Lower Hudson Valley, Winter Storm Watches are in effect for 4-10 inches of snow beginning late on Friday or Early Saturday before tapering off Sunday morning.  This snow is expected to be very heavy and wet which reduces the chances of blowing and drifting snow.

New England:

Data on New England snowfall continues to change by the hour.  The gradient of snowfall in this location is massive and a difference of just 20 miles in the track of the storm can be the difference between no snow and half a foot.  Model outputs from earlier today gave Providence a foot of snow while giving Boston less than an inch and model data on whether or not this region will get hit is all over the place.

close shave

What I can tell you is this, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are simply too far north to get in on this system.  The real question, and I do not yet have a good answer for readers in these locations, is what will happen in Southern New England. Any snowfall that does occur here will not arrive until Saturday afternoon and would taper off late Sunday.  So I will be up bright and early to begin looking at the 6Z and 12 Z runs of the models.  Consensus or not this region will have a forecast by Friday.

 

Please be aware that strong winds and coastal flooding will be a risk from North Carolina all the way through New England on the astronomically high tide.

 

Thank you for sticking with us on this incredibly busy day.  We will see you bright and early Friday.

 

Robert Millette

Meteorologist

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