Nor’easter Even Stronger

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More snow. And not just more snow but MORE snow. Yesterday’s StormWatch graphics indicated an impressive band of 12+ inches from the New York Tri-State through New England. Today, 18+ inches is indicated across southern New England and perhaps even Long Island (depending on the exact storm track).

This morning’s indicators suggest a low pressure area that will strengthen a bit more than what was thought this time yesterday, while the storm track is a little more out to sea. Low pressure areas will strengthen with the contrast of warm and cold air (typically, cold air from the north is drawn into a warm low as it approaches from the south causing intensification of the low and a drop of central pressure) and that is indeed the case today. Yesterday’s YourWeatherBlog post discussed the single-digit temperatures across New York City and it’s this air that will strengthen the soon-to-be nor’easter as it reaches the warm Gulf Stream. Though no Storm of the Century (960mbs lowest pressure), computer models are suggesting a lowest pressure by early Thursday morning of 985mbs which would rank it perhaps #2 in strength of the past three (and now four) nor’easters and on scale with the early November, 2010 nor’easter that brought 5+ inches of snow to the Northeast and winds of 60mph. (This November nor’easter, by the way, had to move farther north to tap the colder Canadian air which then lead to its rapid development. This helps explain why snowfall accumulations were heaviest in northern New England and less than three inches for most other areas of the Northeast.)

Forecast confidence is increasing as the major metropolitan areas from Washington, D.C. to Boston look increasingly likely to be impacted by significant snowfall.

Snow accumulations from early Tuesday through Thursday evening. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch.

And let’s not forget the wind and windchill. While the expected snowfall is gathering all the headlines, any strong low pressure system will generate powerful winds. Blizzard to near-blizzard conditions whipped by 20-25mph sustained winds and gusts to 40mph or higher may effect areas from the Appalachians and Delmarva to the Northeast and coastal regions of Canada. Temperatures in the upper 20s for central Pennsylvania on Thursday may feel like temperatures in the lower teens due to the winds. From the Outer Banks to Maine, temperatures may feel 10-15 degrees colder due to the strong winds.

Any good news? Yes. This fast-moving storm system will evacuate the area quickly with snowfall ending in Baltimore by early Thursday, New York City by midday Thursday (or perhaps earlier) and Boston by Thursday afternoon.

Our latest StormWatch video is now online. You can read about the previous nor’easters here and here. And if you’re in the mood for something hot, check out a couple of YWB entries from last year on the warping heat of Australia here and here. Or perhaps you’d like to warm up while reading about the hottest ambient air temperature ever recorded on earth?

Lastly, we still expect the possibility of significantly colder air to begin moving south from Canada next week with a possible freeze/hard freeze for parts of the Gulf Coast later next week. Additionally, the cold air is being coupled with a weak disturbance that may introduce precipitation into the freezing Gulf Coast air. Interesting? You bet! Lots of uncertainty? Of course! Stay tuned to YourWeatherBlog and ImpactWeather.

Snow accumulations from early Tuesday through Thursday evening. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch.

By midday Wednesday the nor'easter is off the coast of North Carolina. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch.

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