Midweek snowstorm forecasted for eastern states

Storm impact to range from travel disruptions to heavy snow to power outages.
Anonymous
Mar 3, 2013

Impacts from a storm targeting millions of people in the eastern states will range from travel disruptions caused by heavy snow to power outages produced by strong winds to flooding from storm surge.

A major storm will bring heavy snow from parts of North Carolina to portions of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey spanning Wednesday into Thursday.

The storm will be moving through the central Appalachians toward the mid-Atlantic coast during the middle of the week, after blasting portions of the Plains and Midwest Monday into Tuesday.

Snow

Based on the latest information, the area that is most likely to receive a foot or more of snow lies from northwestern North Carolina through northern and western Virginia, the mountains of West Virginia and western and part of central Maryland.

Charlottesville, Roanoke, Harrisonburg and Winchester, Va.; Frederick and Hagerstown, Md. and Martinsburg, W.Va. appear to be in the middle of the zone with the greatest snow potential. This potential would be immobilizing snow. The weight of heavyweight snow can bring down trees and power lines in this area.

However, dozens of other cities in the region could receive anywhere from a couple of inches of slush to a foot or more of back-breaking snow. These include Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., Richmond, Va., Dover, Del. and Vineland, N.J. These areas are likely to receive rain during part of the storm and a larger percentage of the snow that falls is more likely to melt for a time.

As the rate of snow becomes heavy, roads can quickly become clogged with snow, potentially stranding motorists. Deicing time will increase at area airports in the path of the storm. Potential flight delays and cancellations from heavy snow will hit Minneapolis and Chicago first, then will spread to multiple airports in the I-95 mid-Atlantic with the possibility of delayed aircraft and crews elsewhere across the nation.

There is still the risk the storm strengthens upon nearing the coast and either turns farther to the north or grows in size spreading snow and other effects farther north.

Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg are also on the bubble with the chance of a period of heavier snow that can bring a big accumulation or lesser snow to primarily a rain/snow mix. These details will not be known until the storm is virtually under way. A shift in track of the storm and its heavy snow by 50 miles can make the difference.

New York City is likely to be on the northernmost edge of the lesser snow area. Unless the storm stalls and expands substantially northward, a heavy snowfall appears to be a low probability. Cape Cod and Long Island, which extend out into the Atlantic a bit more, have a slightly higher chance of a period of accumulating snow.

A slightly more southerly track would throw heavier snow farther south over western and central North Carolina. As a result folks in Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Raleigh, N.C. and Norfolk, Va. should watch this storm closely.

Wind, Coastal Flooding and Beach Erosion

Based on the latest information, AccuWeather.com meteorologists feel this storm will deliver the punch of a moderate to strong nor'easter. Such storms produce winds over a large fetch of water and drive that water toward the coast. The shape of the coast and wind direction determines which areas are most susceptible to coastal flooding. The duration and strength of the onshore wind determines the severity of the water rise.

Winds can become strong enough to cause sporadic power outages from eastern North Carolina to southern New Jersey. Gusts to 60 mph are possible. A 24 to 48 hour period of pounding surf will cause moderate beach erosion in these areas. Offshore seas can reach 30 feet.

Areas from eastern North Carolina to southern New Jersey are most likely to have coastal flooding problems during times of high tide Wednesday into Thursday. While it is a bit too early to be highly confident on water level rises, there is a chance of tides levels running between 2 to 4 feet above published values. Fortunately, astronomical impact around the time of the storm is minimal with significant distance between the new and full moon phases.

Because of the track and speed as to which the storm will strengthen, the risk of coastal flooding problems over portions of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays cannot be eliminated at this time. There may be a period where winds are from a direction to cause water to back up.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was written by Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist.

Comments

onegirlarmy

Hail Mary...please No snow! :\

Cliff Cannon

Forgive 'onegirlarmy' lord for she knows not what she prays. :)

lugnut2511

lol good one Cliff

lugnut2511

we're gonna get something,,I like to look at the pictures O_0 just look at the pictures lol

onegirlarmy

Yes forgive me Lord...please give me strength and warmth.
O and thank you for this wonderful sunshine today.
Amen :)

dearme

Bring it on ! ! !

Cliff Cannon

The score is "lugnut","dearme" and me for snow. " onegirlarmy" against snow. Mean's we win,right ?

Brock Lee

i hate winter

onegirlarmy

staying positive...mother nature will settle this score.
ready to see buds on trees and dead skunks along the road.

arnmcrmn

This will be the last major storm I predict. Its going to all melt away before Sunday anyhow. Spring can't get here soon enough, and remember we set our clocks ahead this weekend.