Accuweather says snow could be on its way
State College, Pa. — 5 March 2013 — AccuWeather.com reports snow will reach the New York City metropolitan area to Boston as well as part of northern New England and upstate New York with the midweek storm.
It has been a nail-biting time for meteorologists as to how a storm that is currently tracking southeastward from the Midwest will behave once it reaches the coast.
Problems will remain with the storm as it will not have a uniform precipitation area where you might expect to see it. There will be a mosaic of heavy and light precipitation, compounded by the usual problems with a March storm as marginal temperatures, elevation and proximity to the coast play major roles.
In short, the region has one sloppy mess on the way.
The storm will track northeastward enough and pause long enough, before turning out to sea to throw precipitation farther north. This track favors snow reaching New York City, Hartford, Boston, Providence, R.I., Portsmouth, N.H., and Portland, Maine.
The wet, clinging nature of the snow will bring a risk of downed trees and sporadic power outages.
Marginal temperatures will play a role, which will cause some of the snow to melt as it falls on the roads and to bring rain during part of the storm. However, when the precipitation comes down hard, it can switch over to snow and quickly accumulate even on paved and concrete surfaces.
A general 3- to 6-inch swath of wet snow will reach from around New York City to Boston, part of northern New England and Long Island with locally higher amounts. The heaviest snow, up to a foot, may bury portions of Connecticut, western Massachusetts and southernmost portions of Vermont and New Hampshire.
The worst travel conditions will be Wednesday night and Thursday. This is when the precipitation rates will generally be the heaviest and overcome warm road surface temperatures.
At this time, the consensus among AccuWeather.com meteorologists is for the immobilizing snow, 1-2 feet of it, to stay in part of the central Appalachians centered on northwestern Virginia, eastern West Virginia and western Maryland.
Heavy, disruptive snow is likely in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia with flight delays and other travel issues. The storm will begin as rain in these areas, but a switch to heavy wet snow is forecast during part of the storm. In these areas, the storm may switch back and forth between rain and wet snow.
The same storm will bring heavy snow from Minneapolis to Chicago and other major cities in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio Tuesday, which will also cause its share of flight and roadway delays.
In terms of wind and coastal flooding problems with the storm from northern New Jersey to southern New England, the magnitude also depends on the track and redevelopment of the storm near the coast.
A storm tracking farther north enough to bring a few inches of snow could also be strong enough to cause moderate beach erosion and minor to moderate coastal flooding around times of high tide Wednesday and Thursday.
However, just as AccuWeather.com has been stating farther south in the mid-Atlantic, the storm will not hit during a period of high astronomical tides. The middle of this week is approximately halfway between the new and full moon.
One thing, though, since the storm will be exiting slowly to the east, a few days of slowly diminishing northeasterly winds may follow the storm.
This flow could be at a favorable angle to keep water levels running above normal into the weekend with minor beach erosion. The pattern would break down several days before the new moon next week.
The same pattern may favor cold air and snow showers for the Northeast into the weekend.
An additional batch or two of accumulating snow can rotate in over southeastern New England anytime Thursday night into Saturday.
By Ales Sosnowski, Senior Expert Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com