In just under 48 hours from now we’ll be dealing with another major snowstorm that will bring heavy snow, gusty winds, and coastal flooding to the Northeast region. While the month of March is known for large and powerful coastal nor’easters as we transition from one season into the next, having two back to back of this magnitude is rather rare.
A blizzard currently slamming the northern Plains will slowly migrate south and east-bound, bringing more snow and wind to the Midwest Tuesday into early Wednesday morning. Way out ahead of this storm rain and snow showers will begin to develop near the I-95 corridor and northbound from Binghamton to Philadelphia. This will be a result of our primary low pressure in the Midwest beginning to transfer over towards the coastline, similar to what we saw with our last storm. On Wednesday morning a new secondary low pressure will pop its head off the North Carolina coastline, spreading rain and snow showers back into the Delmarva, eastern Pennsylvania and southern New England. This light mixture will quickly become heavy and changeover to all snow from Baltimore to Philadelphia to New York City and back into Albany and New England. Snowfall rates may reach as high as 1-2 inches per hour with winds gusting 35-40+ mph at times. This means coastal flooding will also become a concern once again, and additional branches and power-lines may come down.
Our low will become very strong and tuck itself into the coastline with strong blocking still overhead. This means our system will slow down and hug the coast, bringing heavy snow and wind all the way back into northern New England. Another sub 985 mb storm system looks likely. The worst of the snow and the wind for the I-95 corridor looks to go from 4 PM Wednesday to 7 AM Thursday, with coastal areas like Boston beginning as rain and switching over to heavy snow by Wednesday night.
When all is done, we expect a swath of 8-15 inches of snowfall to fall from the northern suburbs of New York City through southern New England and up into New Hampshire and Maine. This area will have the best shot at seeing a foot or more of snowfall along with gusty winds and snowfall rates between 1 and 2 inches during the storms peak.
Outside of that swath, moderate to heavy snow is expected from Philadelphia to Albany and back down to Boston. Philadelphia and Boston may begin as rain and miss out on the heaviest area of snowfall, allowing for slightly lower totals. It’s important to note a small shift in this track could bring sizable changes in heavier or lighter snow to either or both of these cities. Heading further down the I-95 corridor, Washington and Baltimore will see a brief period of snow, as well as inland regions back into central and upstate New York and Vermont, where several inches may fall. Again for these southern cities, the biggest issue will be warmer air / mixing, as well as less precipitation.
Wind and coastal flooding will be an issue again for the coastline. While we don’t expect the winds we saw with the last storm, the entire I-95 corridor can expect to see wind gusts 25-40 mph, with gusts closer to 50 mph in and around southeastern New England and the New Jersey / Long Island coastline. With weakened trees and branches from the last storm, this could lead to additional damage and power outages, although we don’t expect anything widespread like last time. That may change, however.
By Thursday afternoon and evening this becomes a New England storm, with strong winds and heavy snow up into Maine. Again, up to a foot of snow will be possible near the coast. By Thursday night things wind down fast, and cold air moves in behind for the end of the week. Some shifts in the current forecast are very possible, as there still remains some discrepancy among model guidance. A shift further east, (Washington to Philly and New York) could lower totals. At the same time, an even more aggressive storm is also in the card. Another update will be published tonight or early tomorrow with any of these necessary changes. Stay tuned.