For the past two weeks I've been concerned about the possibility of getting nailed with a late season "snow event," right around the arrival of spring this Sunday at 12:30 a.m.
Looks like my concerns may be justified.
March is the most volatile month of the year, as one day you can be basking in summertime temperatures as we did last week and then in the flash of a blooming daffodil you’re scrambling for your winter coat...and perhaps snow shovel.
Computer models have been waffling for the past 10-days, a few giving us a glancing blow with nothing more than a few rain or wet snow showers and others painting a significant late-season snowstorm from Philly to Boston.
The GFS (Global American Model) has been very inconsistent with its eventual outcome. Earlier it did have an intense coastal storm producing heavy snow and rain for most of the Northeast. Then of late it backed off big-time with just a glancing blow and more of an impact for Boston.
The European model, which in my opinion is still the reigning king in handling potential East Coast storms, has been the steadiest in suggesting a significant to major snow storm for the Northeast, complete with wind-driven heavy wet snows and coastal flooding. I would anticipate that eventually the GFS will see the light, ahhh make that snow, and line up more closely with the euro.
HOW THE STORM MAY SHAPE UP
A developing storm that will start to intensify off the Carolina coastline by Saturday night.
Cold air will be funneled down from Hudson's bay in Canada and the rapid cooling will take place across the entire Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region by this weekend. I would expect rapid intensification to take place somewhere off the Virginia coast by late Saturday night and then to move steadily up the coast, passing east of the Jersey shore by later Sunday and off the New England coast first thing Monday morning.
WHAT TO EXPECT
A mix of rain and snow should arrive by Saturday evening in Philadelphia and then spread Northward into New York City by late Saturday night and then on into Boston region by early Sunday morning.
Any mixture will change to all snow along the entire I-95 corridor during Saturday night and into Sunday. Snow will accumulate, perhaps quite rapidly overnight Saturday into Sunday morning, for Philadelphia and the NYC region, especially Long Island.
Boston’s main impact from the storm should take place Sunday into late Sunday night.
Coastal flooding likely for all coastal locations from the Jersey shore to the Capes.
Here’s the snow accumulations if the storm reaches its full potential and it’s still a big “if” at this time.
Philadelphia: 4-8 inches, with the best chance just northwest of the I-95 corridor. Ending late Sunday.
New York City: 3-5 inches, with 4 plus amounts across central and eastern Long Island as long as mixing is limited. Ending Sunday evening.
Boston: 4-8 inches, ending by early Monday morning, under 4 inches along the Capes as mixing and temperatures should remain a notch or two above freezing.
Timing of the storm and its associated snow/sleet/rain still needs to be worked out, although it should be snowing in both Philadelphia and NYC sometime on Saturday night.
Bust forecast potential: HIGH as it is March and still uncertainties with track and intensity at this time.