A strong clipper system tracks SE out of Canada and across Pennsylvania to south of New England, where when it hits the ocean, redevelops into a strong coastal storm that clips our area with the precipitation shield. The wildcard in the forecast is how far south that system initially tracks, which then influences where the coastal system forms and hence how strong it is when it reaches our latitude. The further south it forms = the stronger it is at our latitude = the more snow we see.
When discarding the outlier in the UKMET, consensus is surprisingly strong on the models for a moderate snowfall featuring localized pockets of intense rates due to strong midlevel dynamics as well as very strong winds both during and after the storm. While this storm will likely not verify as a blizzard(three consecutive hours of visibility <=1/4 mile and wind gusts of >45 mph), near blizzard or blizzard conditions are likely, especially in eastern areas. Combine this with frigid temps, and you’ve got a recipe for one wintry storm!
Here’s our first thoughts as far as a forecast.
Speaking of winds, here’s a look at max wind gusts from the 0z GFS model.
As far as impacts go, expect difficult travel from Saturday afternoon through Sunday, potential power outages from strong winds, and reduced visibilities due to blowing and drifting snow. Windchills will also be cold enough for frostbite to develop on uncovered skin after a short period of time, so make sure to bundle up when you’re heading out to shovel.
We’ll have a final call and more details this evening or Saturday morning, but until then, thanks for reading SCW!