Big Upcoming Snowstorm for the East?

December 5, 2010; 11:35 PM ET
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This may be the scene in portions of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast over the coming weeks, so you might want to get your shovels ready.

Story has been updated 12/6/2010 2:00 pm....

Monster Storm Closes in on 50 Percent Snow Cover by Christmas

A storm that will take shape by the middle of December will cross the country and could end up developing into a major snowstorm for portions of the mid-Atlantic and New England.

There are different storm track scenarios at this point that mean the difference between mostly rain or a potential blizzard along the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston.

So far, Chief Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi has been correct with the Winter Forecast for the Northeast with his prediction that late November to December would be cold and stormy for many.

According to Bastardi, "Repetitive cold waves and the threats of storms will keep hitting parts of the East in the weeks leading up to Christmas."

"One or two of these storms has the potential to become a major snowstorm for portions of the mid-Atlantic and New England, including the storm that may hit the East from December 12-14."

Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity has also been warning about how the cold pattern in the East could soon yield the season's first major snowstorm.

Scenario One: Major Snowstorm for Interior Northeast

In the first scenario, the storm could cause significant snowfall and wind across portions of the Midwest and the Ohio Valley states, impacting places like St. Louis, Chicago, and Indianapolis.

The storm would then cut across the interior Northeast in the first scenario. Mild air would be drawn into the I-95 corridor, making it a rainstorm for the big Northeast cities.

Meanwhile, the interior Northeast, perhaps from Pittsburgh to Buffalo would get a dumping of heavy, disruptive snow, because this region would lie on the cold, northwestern edge of the storm.

Scenario Two: Major Snowstorm for Interstate 95 Corridor

"If the storm brushes up the Eastern Seaboard, several inches of snow could lead to major travel disruptions in the big cities from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia and New York City to Boston," according to Expert Senior Meteorologist Carl Erickson.

On top of heavy snowfall, blustery winds would add to this winter storm scenario by causing blowing snow and potential whiteout conditions at times.

Lake-effect snow to the lee of the Great Lakes would be likely to accompany this scenario as well with an arctic blast of air blowing across the relatively mild water of the Great Lakes.

Another Possibility

Erickson points out that there is one other possibility with this storm, stating "One other scenario is that the storm takes shape too far off the coast, which would promote a frigid, dry northwesterly flow of air into the Interstate 95 corridor. If this were to occur, there would be potential for even more heavy lake-effect snow downwind of the Great Lakes."


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