A powerful nor'easter will bring the potential for major snowfall accumulations by Thursday.
SNOW -- it's what's on everyone's mind. When? How much? For how long? What impacts? Let's break it down based on current information.
A winter storm watch is in effect for the entire viewing area from 7pm tomorrow evening (Wednesday) through 7pm Thursday. A winter storm watch means there is the potential for 5+ inches of snow.
The coastal storm, that will bring us the snow, has yet to even develop, which makes forecasting extra tricky. After looking at multiple computer simulations and projections, it looks likely the snow will start from south to north after the evening rush hour.
- RPM model
- RPM model
By the time you wake up Thursday morning, snow will already be on the ground. As the low gets closer to the coast, slightly warmer air will start to feed into the region. That will bring us a transition to rain and sleet, especially along and west of I-95 during the early to mid morning hours. That transition zone will cause significant impacts to snowfall accumulations. (See two maps above)
Significant snow is possible with nearly an inch of liquid precipitation possible. If a general 10:1 snow/liquid ratio is used, between 5-10 inches will be a possibility. *The 10:1 ratio means that for every inch of rain, 10 inches of snow will accumulate.
With the expectation that rain and/or sleet will mix in, especially over southern MD, that could lessen snowfall totals. Here's a graphic that shows where the highest totals are most likely to occur.
FOR HOW LONG?
The event will begin tomorrow evening and will wrap up Thursday afternoon. It should be a fairly quick event; however, it will have a high impact on travel.
This nor'easter will impact everyone up and down the east coast. Check out all of the winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories across the eastern half of the U.S. The southern tier of the country is dealing with the first wave of wintry weather this morning.
Once the second wave develops over the Gulf coast, and races up the east coast, expect additional watches and warnings to be issued over New England.
Flights will likely be canceled and delayed over the next several days due to the impending storm. Also, school closings and delays look to be a definite possibility on Thursday and Friday.
Stay with the entire StormWatch7 weather team for the latest updates, as they become available. By tomorrow afternoon, we'll have an even better handle on the situation, since the storm will have developed.