April Fools' Snowstorm Is No Joke!

April 01, 2011; 7:10 AM
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A foot of snow will blanket interior areas of the Northeast as March comes to a close and April begins; no foolin'.

The storm will bring mostly rain and wet roads to the I-95 cities from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore to Wilmington, Philadelphia, New York City, Providence and Boston.

A period of snow or mixed snow and rain is expected to occur from New York City through Boston with no significant accumulation. Snow is more of a long shot in greater Philadelphia and D.C.

The pattern, track and strength of the storm system will bring the heaviest snow from part of western Massachusetts up through northwestern and central Maine, where 6 to 12 inches of snow is forecast with locally higher amounts.

To view a larger version of this map, visit the AccuWeather.com Winter Weather Center.

At least a few inches of snow will fall as far southwest as the mountains of West Virginia.

While substantially less snow will accumulate on roads and sidewalks throughout this region, there will still be slippery, slushy areas to contend with even in some of the valleys of New England.

It is important to note throughout areas where an inch or more of snow is forecast that the greatest accumulation will occur on grassy and elevated surfaces, and more accumulation will occur over the "colder" ridges and hilltops, as opposed to the "warmer" valleys. This is why we refer to this as an "elevation storm."

The best chance to rack up snow quickly will be into the morning rush hour. However, if 1- to 3-inch-per-hour snow falls, which is possible through interior New England, roads can get slushy and perhaps snow-covered even during the middle of the day today.

The worst conditions from the storm will be in the mid-Atlantic the first thing today and in New England late through this afternoon.

The storm won't stop in New England. Heavy snow will spread northeastward across northern New Brunswick into far eastern Quebec and part of Labrador during the first part of the weekend.

Rain, Wind, Thunderstorms as Well

The storm will not be a powerhouse as some nor'easters go, but it will cause some issues with gusty winds and flooding.

Enough rain will fall in coastal areas of the Northeast to cause flooding in urban and poor drainage areas. Flooding problems along streams and rivers are not expected with this storm.

In addition to soaking much of the I-95 Northeast today, windswept rain and stormy seas will affect Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland tonight into Saturday.

Motorists should be especially wary of deep potholes that may be filled with water.

The storm will strengthen upon moving northeastward today. As this happens, the changing pressure will allow winds to kick up.

While winds will not be extreme from a statistical standpoint, soggy ground and the weight of snow could down trees and power lines.

Strengthening storm systems can produce thunderstorms, and this system may be no exception. The thunder and lightning can occur not only in the rain area, but also the snow area.

Still Not the Last Snow?

Indications are that the volatile weather pattern will continue well into April. While the overall temperature trend will bring less intense cold, moderate cold could hook up with storms in such a way to bring yet more snow.

A weak storm will spread a swath of light to moderate snow from the Midwest today into part of the mid-Atlantic this weekend.

At least storms next week appear to be be aimed along a track north and west of the northeastern United States.

For now, at least, it appears March has gone out like a lion in the East.

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