Thursday, February 7, 2013

Friday AM update on 'historic storm'

3 p.m. Friday update on the East Coast storm (with a link to a funny video) ...

The rain has changed to snow in New York City, and moderate to heavy snow is now falling in Connecticut. Meteorologists seem to think the forecast is on target for most areas, except possibly Philadelphia.

The earlier forecast for Philly was 3 to 5 inches, but I think that will be downgraded. Precipitation is still falling as rain there, and it looks like the worst of the storm will be north of the area by the time the temperature drops enough for a changeover to snow.  The National Weather Service office there says I-78 is the cutoff line between rain and snow.

The latest indication is that snow could fall at rates of 2 to 4 inches an hour in the heaviest bands. And a state of emergency is in effect now in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

A friend of my brother sent him a link to a rather funny YouTube video that seemed to capture the attitude of some people along the East Coast in advance of the storm.  It's called "Bread and Milk."


9:45 a.m. Friday update on the East Coast storm ...

There are really no changes in thinking on the big storm hitting the East Coast (you can read my earlier post below this one). Meteorologists believe the snowfall will break records in some places, and the winds will leave hundreds of thousands of people without power.

I feel sorry for any ships that are caught in the path of this monster storm, because wave heights will be staggering (see below).

Here's the latest update on the storm and its impacts on various locations:

Baltimore and Washington ... Rain changes to snow at the end of the storm, with a coating to possibly 1 inch. A bit more could accumulate to the west, around Frederick. Wind gusts to 40 mph.

Philadelphia ... It will miss the worst of the snow, with temperatures staying above freezing for much of the event. However, the rain will change to snow Friday evening, and 3 to 5 inches will accumulate in the city, with much heavier totals in the northern suburbs. Heavy rain will fall during the day, possibly causing some flooding issues. Wind gusts to 35 mph.

Delaware, Jersey coasts ... Coastal flood warnings are issued. Early in the storm, winds will be out of the northeast, gusting to 45 mph. The storm will intensify later, but winds will swing around to the north and northwest by that time, perhaps sparing these coasts the worst damage.

Pittsburgh and Cleveland ... Too far west to get into the action. Maybe an inch of snow.

Buffalo ... The big blizzard is a merger of two storm systems, and the northern system will leave 2 to 6 inches of snow and sleet in Buffalo. Travel conditions will be difficult Friday.

New York City ... A rain-snow mix is falling at 9:45 a.m. It is expected to change to snow between 4 and 6 p.m., with 10 to 14 inches accumulating. Heavier totals will be recorded in areas that get bursts of heavy snow this evening. Winds will gust to 45 mph.

Long Island ... About the same as in New York City, with 12 to 20 inches of snow. Significant coastal flooding is possible on the northeast side of the island, with tides 3 to 4 feet above normal and waves of 5 to 7 feet. Winds will gust to 50 mph.

Hartford ... Light snow already falling at 9:45 a.m. Accumulations of 24 to 30 inches, with winds gusting to 50 mph.

Providence ... Light snow already falling at 9:45 a.m. Accumulations of 24 to 30 inches, with winds gusting to 60 mph. Widespread power outages likely.

Boston ... Snow hasn't arrived yet. Accumulations of 25 to 32 inches, with winds gusting to 60 mph and widespread power outages.

Western Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire ... Accumulations of 10 to 20 inches. Winds gusting to 45 mph.

Portland (Maine) ... About 5 inches of snow fell Friday morning, due to a front forming along the coast in advance of the storm. Total accumulations of 20 to 30 inches, with winds gusting to 55 mph.

Atlantic waters ... A hurricane force wind warning is posted, with Saturday's winds off the coast (from Long Island up to Maine) from the north-northeast at 70 to 80 mph, gusting to near 90 mph. Waves of up to 40 feet.


Earlier post from Thursday night ...

There will be plenty of descriptions used for the massive winter storm that will take shape Friday off the East Coast, but Paul Ryan of the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center said it simply and best.

"This is a potentially historic winter storm," Ryan said Thursday.

The rain falling across the Carolinas on Thursday evening is a piece in what is expected to become a devastating blizzard up the East Coast on Friday and early Saturday.

The low pressure system crossing our area will strengthen when it moves off the coast, then merge with another storm system that is crossing the Great Lakes (and bringing heavy snow to Wisconsin and Michigan).

The result will be a storm system capable of dumping 30 inches of snow and producing winds gusting to 75 mph.

If you have a flight scheduled Friday or even early Saturday to New York City, Boston, Hartford or Providence, forget about it. Logan International Airport in Boston already has cancelled all flights Friday, and wholesale cancellations are nearly a sure bet at the other cities.  There even could be some cancellations in Philadelphia, which will be on the edge of the snowfall.

Here are some predictions for snowfall:

Baltimore and Washington ... a trace, with perhaps an inch of snow and sleet falling to the west of those cities, especially around Frederick and Hagerstown in western Maryland.

Philadelphia ... mostly rain Friday, but it will change to snow at night; 3 to 5 inches accumulating.

New York City ... snow to start Friday morning, then changing to a mix of heavy snow and heavy rain in the afternoon, changing back to all snow in the evening; winds gusting to between 50 and 60 mph; 8 to 14 inches of snow.

Hartford ... mostly snow, with 14 to 20 inches accumulating; winds gusting to 50 mph at times.

Boston ... snow beginning Friday afternoon and continuing until daybreak Saturday; winds gusting to 60 mph; snowfall of 18 to 24 inches.

Pittsburgh ... it will escape the storm, with the heavy snow falling to the east; only 1 inch in Pittsburgh.

There could be accumulations of 30 or even 35 inches in central Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire. The strong winds will create drifts that will be measured in feet.

The storm will create big waves, although the prevailing direction will be from the north.  That means the only area in danger of coastal flooding would appear to be the north shore of Long Island, along with Nantucket and parts of Cape Cod.

A hurricane force wind warning is posted offshore from Cape Cod to Long Island, for winds of 50 to 60 mph, gusting to 75 mph.

If the storm develops as expected, it will be an amazing weather event.


InjurylawyerNYC said...

It's been pretty intense thus so far. Be careful out there.