It’s not too often that you get to throw around the words ‘historic’ or ‘epic’ when talking about a potential winter storm or even blizzard, but given the continued forecast model consistency, I must acknowledge that this winter storm could be quite the doozy early this week for parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. At Firsthand Weather, I try get you prepared for such winter events without all of the nonsense and hype, and this potential blizzard is nothing that you want to take lightly. Before I get into the details, it’s important to understand that a small shift in the track of this storm could and would throw off the entire forecast, which makes it important to stay updated every few hours in order to adequately prepare for this event.
What Exactly Is Going On?
A piece of energy is diving south from Manitoba, Canada and has an associated surface low pressure system moving southeast with it. Many of you are likely familiar with the term ‘Alberta clipper’ even if you don’t actually know what that is. Simply put, an Alberta clipper is a fast-moving storm system in the winter that originates from the Canadian province of Alberta and moves into the United States. So what is a storm system called that originates from the Manitoba province during the winter? A Manitoba Mauler!
This Manitoba Mauler is currently located over the Central Plains and will be sweeping southeast during the day on Sunday going into Monday. This is going to originally bring a swath of snow from the Central Plains to the Ohio River Valley and eventually for parts of the Tennessee Valley. As this system moves eastward, its energy is going to be transferred to the East Coast, and a coastal low is going to develop and strengthen off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia.
Parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast will get some accumulating snowfall before this system makes it to the East Coast, but once this storm is on the coast, it is literally going to explode. This rapidly intensifying storm system will move up the coast Monday night going into Tuesday and will bring a significant blizzard with it for parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
Who Could Be Hit The Hardest?
I know that I’ve already discussed some of the regions that will be impacted before this system makes it to the coast, but I want to get into more specifics regarding the regions that will be slammed as this system moves up the coast.
The regions that could be hit the hardest will likely be from Philadelphia up through New Jersey, New York City and Long Island, Boston, and up through Maine. Blizzard conditions could occur along all of these regions, especially from the Jersey shore up through New York City and Boston and eventually up towards Maine. Forecast models have been consistent with dumping at least a foot of snow over all of these regions with New York City and the Boston area getting up to two feet of snow.
It’s important to note that this is on a 10:1 snow ratio scale, and snow ratios could be higher for some of these regions. Because of this, some of these snow totals could be higher.
Again, it’s important to understand that things could change, but with this kind of model consistency and agreement, it’s best to prepare for the worst-case scenario. If these kinds of snowfall accumulations fall over these regions, this would definitely be a historical storm for many regions.
Future Updates and Preparations:
I didn’t mention all of the regions that could be impacted by this storm, but it’s VERY important to make preparations for this coming storm. With these kinds of storms, changes can occur at the very last minute so please keep checking back with Firsthand Weather and your local meteorologists.
A local meteorologist in the Boston area has plans to send me a forecast later in the day on Sunday, and hopefully I’ll have his article posted on the site by Sunday afternoon or evening.
Matthew Holliday is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he completed a B.S. in Meteorology and a B.S. in Geographic Information Science. He is currently pursing his master's degree in meteorology and climatology at Mississippi State University. Matthew founded Firsthand Weather in 2010 as a senior in high school and maintained the site through his undergraduate career. Research that was conducted by Matthew while at OU involved determining the synoptic environment in which various types of wave clouds (including vertically propagating waves and trapped waves) develop in Boulder, Colorado and Norman, OK. Matthew also did research on spatial changes in tornado activity across the United States . The goal of this study was to determine if spatial changes in tornado activity had occurred and if those changes could be linked to changes in average surface dew point temperature. Matthew has completed coursework in dynamics, thermodynamics, cloud physics, calculus and differential equations, statistics, remote sensing, GIS, synoptic meteorology, and mesoscale meteorology. His goal is to provide his audience with a deeper understanding of what drives our weather and climate, while making it easy and enjoyable to learn.