A low pressure system currently in the southern Mississippi River Valley will continue deepen as it moves east tonight and into Friday.
By Friday evening (or 00Z Saturday) the initial low will be over northern Georgia while a second low will form on the South Carolina Cost. The formation of a second low is a frequent occurrence with a Nor’easter. By Saturday morning, the coastal low will be the dominate system and it move northeast along the coast. Cold air will be entrenched in the interior coastal plain with subfreezing high temperatures expected from New England South through the Mid-Atlantic and into North Carolina.
Snowfall amounts have the potential to be a foot plus in many locations. The graphic below shows the potential of 12+ inches of snow with the oranges and reds showing a greater than 80% chance over the 48 hour period from this evening through Saturday evening.
For Friday evening through Sunday evening, the highest risk for a foot or more is still centered over Washington DC, but chances increase toward Philadelphia and New York.
Expected storm totals (through Sunday Morning) for a few cities including:
Richmond VA – 8 – 12 in
Washington DC – 20 to 24 in
Philadelphia, PA – 12- 15 in
New York, NY – 7 – 9 in
A key note is both the southern and northern gradient of the snowfall totals will be fairly sharp. So a shift in the storm track by even just 50 to 100 miles could be some significant differences in snowfall totals.
In addition to the snow, freezing rain is also a concern from Northeastern Arkansas into Southern Kentucky, Southwestern Virginia, Western Tennessee and a large part of North Carolina as well as portions of South Carolina. The oranges and reds in the graphic below show the areas with the highest chances of seeing at least 0.1 of an inch of freezing rain from this evening through Saturday evening. The areas that could see the higher ice accumulations include Charlotte, NC, Raleigh, NC and Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.
Winter Warning, Advisories and Watches
With the significant snow and ice expected winter storm advisories and warnings extend from Missouri and Arkansas east through parts of the Ohio River Valley, the Tennessee River Valley, and the northern portion of the Deep South to the Mid-Atlantic and into the Northeast.
Blizzard Warnings are in effect for parts of the Virginia Mountains, Northern Virginia, Maryland, including Washington DC and Baltimore.
A Blizzard Watch is in effect for Eastern Maryland, parts of Delaware, New Jersey, Southeastern PA which includes Philadelphia, and into New York City and Long Island.
For those that may be impacted by the snow and ice, double check your home storm kit to ensure that you are prepared if you lose power? Also, if your home is heated by electricity, do you have alternate sources of heat which may include logs for a fireplace?
If possible limit travel. If you must travel, double check your car’s winter safety kit. Ensure you have extra water, food, and blankets for your entire family including any pets that are with you. If you can take a route that allows you to avoid the winter weather, that may be a better option.
The Washington Post provided some excellent tips of how to prepare which are applicable no matter where you are located.
The team at WxIntegrations will continue to provide relevant information and resources to help you better understand and prepare by incorporating weather impacts into your planning and response.