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Friday Nor'Easter Will Bring Heavy Rain, Snow, & Winds

March will certainly be rolling in like a lion, as the old saying goes. After record setting warmth spread across the Northeast last week, another rapidly developing Nor’Easter is poised to bring wide ranging impacts to all of the Northeast Friday into early Saturday. While winter is beginning to wind down, March is known for storms of high impact and intensity - and this one will be no different.

Setup

A potent storm is currently tracking into the Ohio Valley on Thursday evening, and will provide the initial round of rain to most areas in New England during the first half of the day. A new storm is going to rapidly develop off the coast during the day Friday, changing the rain over to snow, and causing high wind gusts and coastal flooding. This is in part thanks to a sharply negative phase (-NAO) of the North Atlantic Oscillation, which is an atmospheric condition which in this case, promotes the prolonged development and movement of coastal storms off the New England coast. The storm will begin to pull away Friday night and by sunrise Saturday most of the weather will have cleared.

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RPM Model depicting Radar at 4p Friday

Impacts

Concerning snowfall accumulations, this will be a very tricky forecast, because of two reasons. Borderline temperatures near or above 32º at the surface, and also there will be several very heavy bands of snow that develop - and within these slow-moving bands can the forecast over perform. Along the immediate coastlines, a slushy coating to an inch or two is possible. For most areas east of I-91 a few inches of wet snow can be expected. The jackpot (snow wise) for this storm will be in the higher elevations and hill-towns of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and stretching into eastern Pennsylvania and the Hudson Valley. A wide swath of 1-2 feet of snow is a possibility in these areas.

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Winds will gust over 50 mph during the day Friday, with higher gusts over 70 mph possible on Cape Cod and along the New England beaches. Significant coastal flooding is a great concern because of an astronomical high tide that will occur, along with prolonged east winds during this storm. If you live or have friends or family near the coast, make sure they are prepared for potentially dangerous coastal flooding. Power outages will be an issue too.


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ECMWF model depiction of potential wind gusts Friday evening

Summary

  • Starts as rain late Thursday night for all.
  • Changes to snow on Friday, mainly away from the coast.
  • Precipitation lasts all day Friday, into Friday evening.
  • Very heavy snow rates are possible, and thunder snow
  • Slow and tricky travel conditions region-wide
  • Coastal flooding in normally prone areas

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