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I-95 Corridor Braces For Significant Mid-Week Snowstorm


Mother Nature may just be saving the ‘best’ for last.

A late-season snowstorm could leave Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with their biggest respective snowstorms of the season to date.

An Arctic cold front and a developing area of low pressure attached to it will bring a significant snow for the big cities along the I-95 corridor after a cold rain and a mostly brief period of sleet and freezing rain, potentially causing significant travel delays and school and business closings for Wednesday night and especially into Thursday.

An initial burst of snow could coat areas further north, including New York City and Boston, Massachusetts, with a quick few inches of snow on Tuesday night before a transition to plain rain overnight. After cloudy and mostly drizzly conditions for much of Wednesday morning, the arrival of the Arctic front and associated moisture could leave up to a foot of snow in spots, starting around rush hour on Wednesday for the big cities.

On the southern end of the system, ice could be an issue as mixing cuts into snow totals. Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia will receive between 5-10″ of snow, locations south and east of those cities could see less with more mixing and even plain rain.

Boston, meanwhile, will be on the northern fringe of the snow, likely leaving a rather minor 2-4″ total between the two systems.

The models have consistently hinted at a narrow 50-75 mile ‘bullseye’ where a foot or possibly more of snow is likely, and it will fall somewhere along the I-95 corridor. The models differ on its exact location; the GFS model is trying to pinpoint it in central and southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania, a scenario that could leave Philadelphia with the heaviest snow totals. The NAM tries to bring it a bit further north and into central and northern New Jersey and east-central Pennsylvania, a scenario that would leave the New York City area digging out from 8-10″ of snow. The ECMWF leans closer to the NAM solution, bringing an 8-10″ snow for central New Jersey.

What does it all mean? There is still considerable uncertainty surrounding this forecast, as usual. A track shift of 25-50 miles will mean the difference between a nuisance snow and one that could close schools and cripple traffic for the Thursday morning commute.

Regardless of the exact location of the bullseye, major travel delays can be expected overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning for Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, with New York, Philadelphia and Washington likely seeing the worst of the snow and delays.

Stay tuned to and WeatherNation TV (channel 361 on DirecTV and affiliates nationwide) for more on this system.


Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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