Big Winter Storm Threatens East Coast, Could Bring Foot of Snow

by Jennifer Shea
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Boston and New York may be in for another foot or more of snow as a strong winter nor’easter tears through the region this upcoming weekend.

New York will probably experience high winds and accumulation starting late Friday night, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty told the New York Post. The nor’easter may range as widely as Maine to North Carolina. But Massachusetts is set to bear the brunt of the storm.

“The key point at this time is there’s going to be a big storm, but the impact all depends on where it’s going to track along the East Coast,” Douty said. “If it tracks far enough to the west, it’s going to lead to more significant impacts. But if it tracks a few hundred miles further off the coast, then you’ll have the fringe effects on the other side of it.”

Douty expressed “pretty high confidence” that Manhattan and the region to its north will see snow and winds between 50 to 70 mph.

Precise Snowfall from Winter Storm ‘Still Up in the Air’

Worst case scenario, the eastern seaboard and New England, in particular, could get anywhere from 1 to 2 feet of snow.

“But that’s still up in the air at this point,” Douty told the Post. It could be as little as a few inches in the end.

“The only way it could be a bust is if it moves way off the coast, and there’s not a whole lot that suggests that will happen,” he added. “There’s going to be some impact across the [Northeast], it just depends on the magnitude.”

There is also a risk that the winter storm could become a bomb cyclone. That’s a weather event in which the barometric pressure suddenly drops, and that’s followed by heavy precipitation and high winds. Flooding and power outages along the Jersey coast and up into New England remain a possibility.

“It’s pretty likely that it happens. But it’s a question of where it tracks,” Douty said of the chances that the nor’easter will turn into a bomb cyclone. “There’s going to be a big storm. It’s just a question of where it’s going to be.”

Meteorologist Advises Travelers to Reconsider Their Plans

Meanwhile, Douty pleaded with anyone planning to travel through the region this weekend to keep an eye on the forecast. They should be ready to change their itinerary as the week draws to a close, Douty warned.

“Be prepared that those plans could change,” he said. “You may want to have some alternate plans to try to avoid that Friday-night-into-Saturday-morning travel period.”

New England and New York are accustomed to winter snow and most of the states affected have fleets of snowplows at the ready. But the roads could still become treacherous as the weather changes precipitously. Especially if the nor’easter becomes a bomb cyclone. Looks like Friday would be a good time to hunker down for everyone in the affected region.

Outsider.com