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WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)

March comes in like a bomb!

By Jesse Ferrell
3/01/2018, 3:30:00 PM

The first big nor'easter since early January is threatening widespread power outages, heavy snow and coastal damage in the Northeast and East Coast Friday and Saturday.

Nor'easter Coastal Impact Forecast 3/1

The winds may end up being the biggest story. Inland winds weren't as much of an issue with the Blizzard of 2018 nearly two months ago, but the wind gusts in the 70-80 mph range will likely repeat on the Massachusetts and Delaware shore this time around. Because of the large scale of high winds, I'm especially concerned for power outages on a scale that we haven't seen since last hurricane season.

AccuWeather D3 Impact Indicator for 3/1

AccuWeather's forecast wind map below is even more conservative than some models, which are seeing winds over 100 mph in the Appalachian Mountains tonight, from the initial pass by the storm, then high winds will build and stick around the mid-Atlantic for Friday into Saturday, delaying power repairs (this is something Appalachian Power specifically mentioned). Add in the heavy snow in New York state, and that's a large area of population (the map above shows overall storm risk and areas in the dark red should prepare for power outages, in my opinion).

Static High Winds 8 am

For D.C., it could be the worst since Hurricane Sandy. In fact, if you look at the wind map from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, many of the same areas will get winds as high with this storm -- although Long Island and the New Jersey coast probably will not see winds near 90 mph.

For snowfall amounts, compared to the Blizzard of 2018 nearly two months ago, this storm will end up quite different, being a New York state special, where up to 18 inches of heavy wet snow will fall.

Static Snowfall Map Noon

As noted above, storm surge flooding causing coastal damage is a huge concern; almost every coastal gauge in Massachusetts is forecast to reach moderate flood stage with the nor'easter. Unlike river gauges, however, the difference between flood stages is very small at coastal locations... Atlantic coast at Dennis Sesuit Harbor's gauge has less than 2 feet between moderate and record stages, and is projected to rise to only 0.9 of a foot from its record stage!

AHPS Flood Forecast 3/1

This storm may well qualify, by the way, for "bombogenesis" stature. The 12Z European model shows it going from 991 mb tonight to 966 mb, a fall of 25mb over 24 hours (the threshold is 24 in 24), but it's unlikely it will "bomb out" as quickly as the Blizzard of 2018 did.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


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WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)