Coastal Flood Advisory

Major storm slamming Northeast with strong winds, flooding rain and snow

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 22, 2019, 2:40:06 PM EDT

The storm, still slamming the region, brought heavy rain to many places and a few locations may yet receive up to 24 inches of spring snow before the storm departs.

High winds and snow squalls will also be wintry characteristics of the storm that can cause property damage and create travel hazards.

Storm to produce localized flooding

During Thursday afternoon, there were several routes in northern Virginia that were taking on water and had to be closed. These were mainly in Orange, Madison and Rappahannock counties.

Flooded roadways were reported around the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metro areas late Thursday and Thursday night.

Rain slowed the morning rush hour from Philadelphia to New York City and Boston on Monday.

Heavy rain, rapidly melting snow and ice jams are likely to trigger flooding in the central and southeastern Maine and New Brunswick as well as part of central New Hampshire.

Increasing winds will also push some ocean water onshore in the Maritimes, which can lead to minor coastal flooding.

However, the highest winds from the storm will occur on the backside and from the west and northwest.

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cira northeast storm 32219

The East Coast storm as seen on March 22, 2019. (Photo/NOAA)

Snow to blanket northern New England; High-elevation snowfall risk in central Appalachians

Just enough cold air will invade the storm to allow a substantial snowfall over northern New England.

Snow, on the order of 6-12 inches with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 24 inches, is forecast from from western and central New York to northwestern Maine.

The heaviest snow is likely to fall on the higher elevations of the Adirondacks in northeastern New York state and the northern part of the Green Mountains of Vermont through Saturday morning.

Snowmap 3 pm

Heavy snow fell for several hours over northeastern Pennsylvania on Friday. Arms of heavy snow will extend into the Catkskills, Berkshires and hills of central Massachusetts into Friday night.

Heavy snow is also in store over the eastern townships of Quebec and northwestern New Brunswick as a general 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) is forecast through Saturday.

NE Saturday

However, as with parts of New York and New Hampshire, locally higher amounts are likely in southeastern Quebec.

Rain showers, snow showers and heavier snow squalls to follow the storm

Motorists and pedestrians should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions through Friday night, even where the main storm totally missed their location or areas that received only rain.

Where the squalls persist, especially over the higher terrain of western Pennsylvania, western and central New York, western Maryland and northeastern West Virginia, several inches of snow can accumulate with snow covered roads into Friday night.

Motorists should anticipate that some roads will become slippery, even in the valleys and lower elevations during Friday night as temperatures plummet before roads have a chance to dry out. This is especially true where snow squalls persist into the evening.

In addition to high winds with gusts as high as 60 mph as the storm lifts northward and strengthens, very cold air aloft will pivot southeastward and trigger gusty rain showers with small hail in some areas and heavy snow squalls in others.

Friday Night 3 pm

Snow showers and heavy snow squalls will pivot across the central and eastern Great Lakes to the central Appalachians on Friday. The heavier snow squalls may not only cause a dangerous sudden drop in visibility for motorists on the highways but also could bring a small, but rapid accumulation that makes roads and sidewalks slippery.

As these squalls wander farther to the southeast, where the air is slightly warmer east of the Appalachians from the mid-Atlantic to southeastern New England, rain showers can occur. However, these can be heavy and gusty and may contain hail or soft chunks of ice called graupel.

The storm is not expected to approach the strength and size of the massive bomb cyclone that hit the Central states last week. However, the rapid strengthening, regardless of official pressure criteria, will have implications with threats to property and travel.

Download the free AccuWeather app to get the latest on the forecast rapidly strengthening storm for the Northeast and its consequences.

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