Travel-halting blizzard blasts New England with heavy snow, ferocious winds

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 13, 2018, 3:25:54 PM EDT

  • Heavy snow and blizzard conditions may bring travel to a halt in Boston and Portland, Maine, on Tuesday.
  • Greatest risk for widespread power outages and threat to lives and property to exist in eastern New England.
  • Worst of snow to end in Boston later Tuesday evening.
  • Follow along with our live storm coverage.

The disruptive snowstorm that targeted parts of the mid-Atlantic on Monday will lash eastern New England with blizzard conditions through Tuesday night.

The storm rapidly strengthened from early Monday to early Tuesday and underwent bombogenesis. While the storm is not the strongest of the winter to affect the region, it will still pack a punch and is producing snow all the way to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Eastern New England is bracing for the worst of the storm with more than a foot of snowfall, blizzard conditions and strong winds.

Static Total Snowfall 3 pm

The track of the storm allowed the Interstate-95 corridor from Philadelphia to New York City to escape the worst of the nor'easter.

New England to face another nor'easter; Blizzard conditions to lash eastern areas

Regardless of the amount of snow that falls for the duration around New York City and its suburbs, the storm is expected to be more disruptive and damaging across New England.

Static Risk 3 pm

The strengthening nor'easter will drop enough snow to plow, shovel and cause slick travel over New England into Tuesday night. The snow may continue to pile up across northern New England and parts of northern New York state on Wednesday and Thursday as the storm stalls over southeastern Canada.

Snowfall in northern and eastern New England may exceed 2 feet in some locations in Maine, eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Travel will be extremely difficult as the snow clogs roads.

While the worst of the storm will ease Tuesday night in southeastern New England, the storm will rage on through Wednesday in northern New England.

Roofs, especially flat ones, that have not been cleared of the excessive snowfall from the last nor'easter may fail during this heavy snow event.

Static Blizz 3pm

Strong winds are expected to create dangerous blizzard conditions along the eastern coast of New England. Officials have recommended that motorists stay off the road.

The ripple effect of flight cancellations at these major airports may impact air travelers elsewhere in the nation as crews and aircraft are displaced by the storm.

The combination of the wind and snow will lead to renewed power outages and tree damage, especially where wires and branches have been weakened by the recent nor'easters.

Winds can gust between 45 and 55 mph along the New England coast with gusts to around 75 mph possible on Cape Cod and the nearby islands.

Motorists that venture out during or just prior to the storm's arrival will be at risk for getting stranded. A winter survival kit is a must for those who must travel.

The storm will cause high winds and waves to pound the New England coast into Tuesday night. Residents along the coast can expect moderate to major flooding for two high tide cycles. Tides are expected to average 2-4 feet above normal on the front side of this storm.

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On the storm's back side, strong west to northwest winds will push back bay water toward the western side of the barrier islands from North Carolina to New Jersey. These areas may experience minor to moderate coastal flooding through Wednesday.

"As has been the case with the prior nor’easters in the past couple of weeks, small craft should remain in port as the storm approaches," Sosnowski said. "Large ocean-going vessels may want to consider altering their schedule until the risk of heavy seas subsides."

While the impending nor’easter is expected to avoid the central Appalachians and Great Lakes, these areas will not escape cold winds, snow showers and localized squalls this week.

Cold air with brisk to blustery conditions is forecast to linger into the St. Patrick's Day weekend in the wake of the storm.

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