Nor’Easter to Dump Snow and Rain on Northeast; Winter Storm Warnings and Flood Watches in Place
A very strong nor’easter is now impacting parts of the Northeast, bringing rain, snow and gale-force winds. The storm has caused the issuance of winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories from northeastern Pennsylvania to the northern tip of Maine. Most of the coastal areas — from New York to Portland, Maine — will escape the wintry side of the storm, but heavy rain will be a significant concern. Flood watches are in effect from NYC to Boston — including all of Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Heavy Snow Possible
As the low winds up along the East Coast — and pushes tons of moisture onshore — a cold front will drop down out of Canada, ushering in much colder air into interior sections of the Northeast. This combination of elements means some parts of the Northeast, especially Upstate New York, could see more than a foot-and-a-half of snow.
The heaviest snow is forecast to come down Tuesday afternoon and evening, in this area. Snowfall across the Poconos and the Lackawanna Valley could top 11 inches in some places. This will make travel on I-84 and I-81 difficult. If you live in the region, remain weather-aware though Wednesday afternoon.
The storm will continue to spread north throughout Tuesday. And by Tuesday afternoon, snow will be ongoing for much of Upstate New York. Accordingly, winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories have been issued from Rochester to Albany and points northward.
The heaviest snow in this region is likely to fall Wednesday afternoon and evening. For the eastern-most section of the watch area — Rochester to Syracuse — expect 2 to 8 inches of snow when all is said and done. But, from Binghamton, N.Y. to Oneonta, N.Y. 9 to 15 inches of snow is in the forecast. Higher elevations in this area could see up to 18 inches of snow. And adding insult to injury, up to a half of an inch of ice is also possible in the just east of Oneonta. This means travel will be treacherous on many of the interstates in the region, especially I-90, I-88 and I-86. If you have to travel in this area, through Thursday night, use extreme caution.
Heavy snow will also spread into Vermont and western New Hampshire, where a broad swath of the region could see 8 to 14″ inches of snow. Locally heavier amounts of 18 inches aren’t totally out of the realm of possibility. Places like Montpelier, Vt. and Burlington, Vt. could see close to a foot of snow through late Wednesday night. And with winds gusting up to 30-mph, visibility could be reduced to less than a quarter of a mile.
Additionally, a winter weather advisory has been issued for much of Massachusetts, including the city of Boston. Some light freezing drizzle is possible during the event.
Starting early Wednesday, snow will start falling in the western half of Maine. In general, 9 to 14 inches of snow are forecast to fall through Thursday afternoon. Some locations could see snow in excess of 18 inches. A thick coating of ice is also in some parts of Maine. Forecast models are suggesting a quarter to half an inch of ice in parts of northern Maine.
This will be a heavy, wet snow and the weight of the snow — combined with the gusty winds — on trees could contribute to significant power losses in the region. It’s a good idea to prepare now. Be sure to have non-perishables and water on-hand in the event that power is out for an extended period of time.
Rain and Wind Threat
While snow from a nor’easter often gets the most talk-time, flooding and high winds will be a serious concern along the East Coast. From New York to Boston, flood watches have been issued — in anticipation of 3 to 5 inches of rain in a short period of time.
Rain is on-going in New York City area and won’t let up until late Wednesday. During that time, forecasts indicate more than three-and-a-half inches could fall in the city, this is likely to cause urban flooding and standing water on roadways. As of midday on Tuesday, more than an inch-and-a-half of rain had fallen at New York’s JFK Airport.
Moving into Wednesday, the flooding threat will shift northeastward, impacting places like Hartford, Boston and Providence. Standing water on the roads will be a concern along the I-95 corridor. If you see water of an unknown depth across a roadway, never drive through it. A foot of fast-moving water can float a car downstream.
Wind along the coast will also be a serious concern. Strong winds from the nor’easter have also triggered the issuance of coastal flood advisories and coastal flood watches from Eastern Shore of Maryland to Cape Cod.
This is a fluid situation and WeatherNation meteorologists will be keeping an eye on the storm as it makes its way of the East Coast. As new model data and observations come out in the coming hours, we’ll bring that information to you.
You can keep up-to-date both on air and online, through the duration of the storm.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond