Late-last week, we warned you about the potential for a significant winter storm in the Northeast by the end of this year. Model guidance has definitely shifted since then, highlighting a much more progressive pattern with the development of a weak, coastal storm instead of the combination of two pieces of energy into a much more significant storm along the Northeast coast.
A weak, fast-moving disturbance originating from the Northwest will move through the interior Northeast by Saturday. This disturbance will then move off the Northeast coast and will develop into a weak storm. So on Saturday, light snow from this disturbance is expected across the eastern Great Lakes and Ohio Valley and into interior portions of the Mid-Atlantic. This will be a narrow swath of snow, so in the Northeast it will only extend from central New York southward through about the Mason-Dixin Line, although snow showers are expected in West Virginia and western Maryland due to higher elevations. By the end of the day on Saturday, the disturbance will rapidly move eastward off the coast and develop into a weak area of low pressure. Therefore, snow will move into New Jersey, southern New York, and Southern New England. Most of this snow will fall at a light clip, but a moderate snow is possible in eastern Long Island and Cape Cod due to the close proximity of the low pressure. The low will quickly move further to the east, so the snow will depart the Northeast by the early morning hours of Sunday.
Due to the fast, progressive nature of this storm and limited moisture, snowfall totals will be light for most locations. Snow will have no trouble sticking due to the brutally cold temperatures already in place, and these temperatures will allow for higher snowfall ratios between 15:1 and 20:1. This means that for every one inch of water, you can get between 15 and 20 inches of snow. Obviously, this much snow will not fall in the Northeast, but up to a quarter of an inch of precipitation is expected, meaning that up to five inches may fall across localized areas. Below, you’ll find our snowfall forecast through Sunday morning. This does include the late-week lake-effect snow along Lakes Erie and Ontario, so that’s why snowfall totals will be heavier there.