Monday, January 11, 2016 9:25 PM

Winter is Coming for the East


Good evening all. While many high temperatures records were shattered from Maine down through the Delmarva over the weekend, what a difference 24 hours can make. The 0Z Upper air sounding last night in Chatham Massachusetts had temperatures above freezing all the way to the 700 millibar level, or about 3 kilometers up into the air. Now, its below freezing nearly to the surface where it sits at 34 degrees as the next blast of bitterly cold artic air is moving over the Great Lakes region and moving into the Northeast.

Currently, a low pressure system is developing over the Great Lakes region and it should move from near the Southern end of Lake Michigan over Lake Huron into Canada by Tuesday afternoon. Winter Weather Advisories are in effect from South Bend and Indianapolis Indiana east into the Pittsburg Pennsylvania and Cumberland Maryland areas for a coating to 3 inches of snow except for areas to the South and East of the Great Lakes, where lake effect snow will increase amounts into the 5-10 range with some amounts as high as a foot if a lake effect band establishes itself across the area for a prolonged duration. Some areas that have a strong squall pass through the area could see amounts as high as 4 inches on the Southern end of the precipitation area which will extend down to about Northern Virginia and across the remainder of the Winter Weather Advisory area. Areas through Ohio to Kentucky and West Virginia down through Northern Virginia, DC, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland could be hit or miss on snow totals as the system develops over them or stays far enough North that the precipitation falls more in the form of snow showers and squalls instead of a consistent light snow, but even locations in this area will see some consistent snowfall at times. Make sure to be careful with snow as well as water in your local shops as it makes it much easier to slip and fall over. If you don’t know what to do if you slip and fall in a store, you should read a guide on how to make a claim.

Along the Southern end of Lake Erie from just East of Cleveland out to Buffalo New York, a Lake Effect snow warning is in effect for between 5 to 10 inches of snow over Tuesday. Lake Effect band will persist into Wednesday after the storm passes and areas near Erie Pennsylvania that fall under the bands locations could see as much as 17 inches of snow by the end of Wednesday. A second area of Lake Effect snow will be from Syracuse to Watertown across the Tug Hill region out to Tupper Lake and Whitehall North to the Canadian border through Ogdensburg out to just West of Malone. By Thursday morning, areas that receive persistent bands of Lake Effect, which are already snow could see between 15 and 19 inches of snow with lesser amounts spread throughout the region as the storm and short duration lake effect bands move through on the wind shifts.


In New England, Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for the spine of the Green Mountains from Ludlow up to Newport. In this area, 4-6 inches of snow will fall with only 2-4 further South in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Snow will move West to East beginning in Albany Tuesday morning and then reaching Boston around the time of the evening commute. 1-3 inches will fall throughout the Southern New England region up through Southern Vermont and New Hampshire except for the coastal plain, where warm winds off the Atlantic will allow precipitation to start as rain before changing over to snow as colder air moves in. Only a coating to an inch will fall in those areas.

rain and snow

North of there, in Northern New Hampshire Vermont and especially Maine, a redeveloping low pressure off the coast in the Gulf of Maine will allow for higher snow totals. From Concord New Hampshire and Portland Maine North, 3-6 inches could fall up to Bangor North and East, where 6-12 inches of snow could fall as you go further northeast and Winter Storm Warnings as in effect for this area. The Canadian Maritimes will be especially hard hit by this system.


Robert Millette

Firsthand Weather