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Nor’easter Set to Hit on First Day of Spring

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Snow on the first day of Spring for the Northeast? Yes, we are talking wintry conditions returning to the Northeast just in time to welcome the first day of Spring. Is that an oxymoron? No, just the pattern of this cyclical phenomenon we refer to as “weather”.

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Estimated time of arrival for this potential Nor’easter is set for Sunday through Monday; however, being that we are still a few days out there is still a moderate disagreement in terms of who gets the heavy snow and who sees, well……just rain. The reason for so much uncertainty at this juncture is the fact that three separate dynamics in our weather need to meet in the Northeast and the timing is key.

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The three key ingredients of our potential Nor’easter will slowly evolve over the weekend from 1.) an inverted trough over the Great Lakes Region, 2.) a short-wave trough traversing out of the Rockies and into the Central Plains 3.) a sharp southward dip in the jet stream pulling in more moisture as it swings across the southeast and east coast will be the overall defining factor in how this Nor’easter plays out. In conjunction with all three ingredients coming together, a surface low pressure center is expected to develop off the central East Coast Sunday.

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Once the system has formed the track of the potential Nor’easter up the coast is key. One potential outcome would be a term coined the “coast hugger”. This is where the low pressure center will hug the coast and track parallel to it. This will cause a mix of snow, freezing rain and rain. If the low pressure center keeps a track farther to the east, farther out in the Atlantic (an “outside runner”) then the precipitation is likely to remain snow and be isolated to the New England coast.

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This is a dynamic system that we will continue to monitor the next day as the forecast models update and we see this low develop.

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