We’re continuing to track what will likely become the first major winter storm of the winter season, which will have significant impacts on much of the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. from later Friday through Sunday of this week. The “ripple effects” of this storm will have significant impacts on air travel nationwide during the same time period.
Some of the major cities included in the “high” to “very high” impact zones of this storm include:
-New York City
Impacts from snow will be very high to extreme within the lavender shaded area on the above image, which includes the Baltimore/Washington area, Philadelphia and near Richmond. The potential appears high for 1-2 feet of snow on average within this region. This area of maximum snowfall will be surrounded by an area of heavy snow generally in the 6-12 inch range including the greater NYC area, New Haven and Providence. Localized amounts of 9-14 inches are possible within parts of this same area. All of these forecast snowfall amounts should be considered “general” – with wide variations possible due to blowing and drifting snow, as well as pending the exact track of the storm.
The image shows total snowfall forecast for the period Friday through 7pm EST on Saturday. It is important to keep in mind that additional snow will fall after 7pm on Saturday, especially from New Jersey on to the East/Northeast, but should be representative of the highest snowfall totals that will have likely occurred from the DC area into northern Virginia through that time.
The image below is the same, but zoomed in on the NJ area. Again, it is important to remember that this is only valid through 7pm Saturday, and additional snow will fall after that time, especially from the Philadelphia area through greater NYC and on to the Northeast. Note that around 6 inches of snow is indicated in NYC through 7pm Saturday (since starting at about midday on Saturday), and the additional snowfall that occurs Saturday night/early Sunday will push totals into the expected 6-12 inch to localized 9-14 inch range for that area:
In addition to heavy snowfall, strong, gusty East to Northeast winds will cause widespread blowing and drifting snow across much of the same regions. The potential also exists for damage to trees and power lines, which may result in power outages in the hardest hit areas.
The potential for more widespread impacts from the wind will likely occur within the lavender shaded area on the above image, where wind gusts of 45-55 mph will be common at times during the peak of the storm. This includes Eastern suburbs of the Washington DC and Philadelphia areas, as well as much of New Jersey and the Atlantic facing portions of central and eastern Long Island. Within the red shaded area on the same image, peak wind gusts of 35-45 mph are possible at times.
Coastal Flooding and Beach Erosion:
The final significant impact from this storm is likely to come in the form of coastal flooding and beach erosion, which will be highest within the lavender shaded areas on this image:
As far as timing is concerned, impacts from the storm will begin in Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland (including the Washington DC area) on Friday afternoon and will spread Northeast through Saturday and into early Sunday. For the NYC Metro area, at this time, the most significant impacts from snow are likely from Saturday afternoon into Saturday night/early Sunday.
We will continue monitoring the situation and issue updates as conditions warrant and as details become more clear.