Blizzard of 2016! Big Snows, Big Gradients

Posted: January 21, 2016, 1:55 pm by jmartucci

We are now within 48 hours of the "Blizzard of 2016". Our low pressure system is now in Texas, moving eastward along the Gulf coast. Upper level energy (at 500 millibars) is digging into Texas as well, which will help gather its shape as it becomes our Nor'easter. Severe storms are expected this afternoon in the Deep South, with a couple of inches of snow in the Great Plains. This will shift and pivot into the East Coast as we head into Friday, taking its Gulf moisture along with it. Heavy freezing rain (which could top a half inch) and sleet threaten to make for a messy and dangerous overnight and Friday for the Carolinas, likely creating power outages. The mid-Atlantic, meanwhile, will be in for a historical snowfall as low pressure strengthens off of the Virginia coast. That being said, confidence grows for a very tight snowfall gradient northward into the that may leave the NYC Metro area with near double digit snow totals, but interior New England with little to none.

(Top ten highest three day snow amounts for Washington D.C., Baltimore and Dulles, VA. Courtesty of NOAA.)


Our meteorologists are predicting snow to begin during the PM rush hour in the mid - Atlantic (if there will even be one, as Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. have all declared state of emergencies). Snow will then intensify overnight Friday into Saturday as the low pressure slowly moves northeast up the Virginia and Delmarva coasts. With very heavy snowfall rates accompanied by strong winds, near blizzard conditions are possible. Snow spreads over Pennsylvania and New Jersey by morning on Saturday (possibly the NYC Metro area as well). However, the heavy snow likely stays there, as dry air prevents moisture from spreading northward and therefore places in New England sees just a glancing blow. By Saturday night, snow tapers off from southwest to northeast. Besdies the snowfall, moderate to major coastal flooding along the Delmarva and NJ shores is also anticipated thanks to such strong northeast winds. A big dig out will then be the case Sunday with the biggest totals likely just west of I-95 in Maryland, where the bulls-eye is expected. To see the full range of impacts, we created a cheat sheet below, breaking it down region by region. 

Craving for more information? We have your fill! Our Facebook and Twitter pages will be kept up to date throughout the storm. Also, if you have Snapchat, our meteorologists will be breaking down the models, showing what life is like in the office during a major event as well as share snow totals (Name - WeatherWorks). 

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