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Upcoming Major Winter Storm in the Northeast

By By Meghan Evans, Meteorologist
January 25, 2011, 7:53:53 AM EST

A major winter storm will hit the Northeast with everything from snow, a wintry mix, rain and gusty winds during the middle of the week.

The track of the winter storm is still far from set in stone, while the extent of cold air in place is still not entirely certain. Both of these will be key players in who gets a snowstorm, who gets a wintry mix and who gets rain.

While details are still unclear, it is likely that there will be major impact to travel and daily activities for many Northeasterners during the middle of the week. Expert Senior Meteorologist discussed the different storm tracks and scenarios in e detail in a news story last week.

Sosnowski said "A track along or just inland of the coast would bring rain over the eastern Carolinas and even a wintry mix into the I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic. This track would dump heavy snow, perhaps on the order of 1 to 2 feet, over the Appalachians. Snowfall rates would be intense with perhaps 1 to 3 inches per hour."

"A track just off the coast would bring the heaviest snow to the I-95 cities and the beaches, as we have seen before, thus sparing the Appalachians the worst," he added.


It seems less likely at this point for a major snowstorm along the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York City and along the Eastern Seaboard Tuesday night through Wednesday night.

"The brutal arctic cold that has been in place will be eroded on Tuesday as an area of high pressure retreats and a southeasterly flow off of the Atlantic Ocean pulls in milder air," according to Meteorologist Brian Edwards.

"Even if snow falls in the major I-95 cities or along the coast, it may end up being a wet snow," Edwards said.

However, travel could still be messy and with delays in a wintry mix.

The strong onshore winds may cause other problems like coastal flooding that could overwhelm low-lying coastal roads and cause some road closures.

Edwards added, "A quick-hitting disturbance will first spread some light snow through portions of New York state and New England on Tuesday. There will not be an impressive cold blast behind the disturbance."

However, a quick shot of cold air behind the disturbance will make it more likely that freezing rain and sleet could mix in as well as snow and rain for a time in portions of southeastern New England by Wednesday.

This could mean extremely hazardous travel at times for Boston, Providence, and Hartford.


Cities and towns in eastern New England, including Portland and Boston, could end up with heavier snowfall amounts than the other major Northeast cities of the I-95 corridor. This will be due to the fact that snow could continue wrapping around the back edge of the storm into eastern New England through Thursday.

Meanwhile, it appears at this time that a zone somewhere from the Appalachians to west of the I-95 corridor will lie in the heart of the snowstorm, which could mean heavy snowfall accumulations of a foot or more and gusty winds that cause the snow to be whipped around.

If you live west of the I-95 corridor and close to the I-81 corridor in the Northeast, you will need to watch this storm very closely.

Be sure to check back in with as more details of the storm become clear early in the week.

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