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BUCKLEY'S BLOG: Rain for us, Boston/NY blizzard

I know many have been asking for snow, and to you I say -- head north! While a coastal low can sometimes bring the white stuff to Wilmington, this time it will just bring a whole lot of the wet stuff.Then, as it heads up the coast, it will make for a crippling blizzard. Lets talk about the possibilities here there and everywhere. 

Coastal Low - But no snow

First off this morning, the storm is really just beginning as an area of low pressure along the Gulf Coast. This is how these coastal lows usually begin. Then, as they head farther east, they "jump" over the land and reform off the coast of GA/SC/NC. This transition will happen later on today. 

As you can see from the map, the rain overspreads the area by this evening. Here's the timeline I expect:

  • Clouds increasing through lunchtime, but dry. 
  • Scattered showers moving onshore during the afternoon
  • Steady rain developing by dinnertime (5-7pm) and lasting overnight. Heavy at times

Rain totals

The rain will add up quickly as the storm intensifies offshore. Here's what our in-house model is projecting as far as accumulation from this system. In general, I'd expect to see anywhere from 1" - 2", with locally higher amounts farther north and east. 

Believe it or not, we could use the rain. After a bit of a wet spell to close out 2012, it's been dry to start 2013. We've only seen just over 2" of rain all year -- we may very well get that much during this storm alone. 

What about the Blizzard?!

The real story with this storm is what happens once it heads north of us. There are two distincts systems that will come together and join to make for a large Nor'easter.

The northern system will cross through the Great Lakes; the southern system rides up the coast like a classic Nor'easter and gets enhanced by gobbling up the smaller one. The result is a very large, powerful storm that will have high impacts for millions. The size of the storm will mean significant snow anywhere from western New York to down east Maine. 

So how much snow can they expect? That's the big question. There are 4 main computer models I use in house to predict snowfall totals. I'm posting them all below. 

NAM Model:

GFS Model:

EURO Model:

RPM Model:

So what does that mean? Of course, the exact totals for individual cities can be argued at this point, and it will vary greatly locally, but it is safe to say that this should be a crippling blizzard for a large majority of New England. 

Boston / Portland / Providence / Hartford will likely be slammed with 30-50 mph wind gusts and disruptive heavy snowfalls as high as 1-2 feet. SOMEONE in metro Boston could get 30"+. New York City will see a plowable snow from the system with some mixing with rain at first, but totals higher than one foot are still possible there. Philadelphia looks to be spared from a high-impact winter storm.

If you have any travel plans to the Northeast Friday / Saturday, it's safe to say your travel will be severely impacted - and you may need to reschedule.

Ahh the joys of winter! That's it for now. Thanks for reading.

Remember to "like" me on Facebook for content throughout the day, and follow me on Twitter @TimBuckleyWX

- TB 


By: Tim Buckley


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