It's crunch time, as the clock is ticking and a full-fledged nor'easter will begin slowly twisting up and along the East Coast on Friday night. The big question is just how far north the heavy snow line will extend into the Northeast and will it make it into Southern New England. I have looked at every single computer model over and over again, certain trends, better performers, and some history and this is how this eventual "Beast in the East" will impact the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

First I will play the elimination game, and right now I believe Boston will dodge the heavy snow bullet, with the southern-facing shores of the Capes standing the best chance of receiving significant snow. Boston might only muster up and inch or two, perhaps 3 to 4 inches the way I see it now.

New York City and across Long Island will be on the Northern periphery of the heavy snow bands, missing a paralyzing blizzard, but still I would put it in the major category due to the very strong winds, snow amounts exceeding 6 inches for most, but not for everyone, as there will be a sharp cut-off from heavy snow to only some light snow with little accumulation just to the north of NYC.

The bulls-eye for this storm is setting up across D.C, Baltimore, and Philadelphia where snow amounts in some places will exceed 18 inches.

The set-up:

A strong arctic high is anchored over northern New England and will act as a cold funnel feed, keeping I-95 corridor sector all snow. Right now I'm not looking at any changeover to rain in D.C., Philly, or NYC, although during the height of the storm there could be some sleet mixing in during Saturday afternoon and early evening.

The storm system loaded, with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. will be moving out of the Tennessee Valley during the day today, and then re-develop off the North Carolina coast late tonight. Rapid intensification will take place Saturday morning just off the Virginia coast with a plume of intense snow banding taking place to the north and west of the rapidly deepening storm. This will place D.C and Philadelphia in the excessive snow banding. Rates of 1-2 inches per hour along with wind gusts to 35-40+ mph will make for periods of white-out conditions.

The storm will stall for a time just off the coast, and then I see a more easterly shift, then a northeasterly move. This will still need to be watched closely.

Major tidal flooding will impact many coastal areas with southern New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia to be hit the hardest. Northern New Jersey should see mainly moderate coastal flooding. Two to three high tide cycles will produce most of the flooding, with the back bays getting hammered as the strong easterly winds will not allow the bays to drain. To boot, we have a full moon to contend with adding to even a higher tide than normal.

Localized major tidal flooding will also be experienced across all of Long Island, New York harbor and on into the Capes of Southern New England. Wind gusts along the Jersey and Delaware shores could exceed 55 mph.

The brunt of the storm will take place for Philadelphia and NYC mainly during Saturday afternoon and night with D.C seeing the teeth by early Saturday morning.

Timing of the storm:

Philadelphia:

Friday Night: 9 p.m. - midnight Snow arrives

Saturday: Noon - 8 p.m.: Periods of intense snow banding. Rates of 1-2 inches per hour possible. White-out at times. Wind gusts 35+ mph, sleet could mix in.

Saturday Night: Intense snow bands pulling away. Very windy. Blowing snow. Possible power outages.

Potential accumulation 10-16 inches. less north and west

Major tidal flooding

Sunday: Clearing windy and cold.

New York City:

Snow arrives after midnight.

Saturday: Wind-driven periods of heavy snow, mainly in the afternoon. White-out conditions possible at times. Wind gusts 35+ mph. Sharp cut-off line of heavy snow as you move north. Anywhere north of White Plains, snow amounts drop off sharply.

Long Island: Windswept bands of snow. Whiteout conditions at times. However I believe snow amounts will be capped between 5-9 inches (generally) as the heaviest bands of snow could remain just south of Long Island.

NYC: After 8 p.m.: Snow should taper off. Very windy and cold.

Total snow : NYC: 6-9 Inches

South Shore bays of Long Island will see major flooding.

Sunday: Clearing

Boston:

Saturday: Noon - 3 p.m.: Some light snow

Saturday night: Periods of light snow. Windy Gusts 35+ mph.

Sunday: Early flurries. Very windy.

Total snow: 1-4 inches

The Capes stand the best chance of receiving 6+ inches

Tidal flooding should be minor.

Right now it appears Boston will dodge the snow bullet, as the major nor'easter slides off the northern Mid-Atlantic coast and passes south of the heavy snow bench mark.

Still a significant margin of error exists with placement of northern extent of heavy snow.