The Washington Post

Northeast hunkers down for major blizzard; Boston area possible snow bullseye

NAM model simulation of snowfall amounts in the Northeast, suggesting over 24 inches in southeast New England, and over 10 inches around New York City (

Snow has begun in New York City, and final preparations are underway up the coast into southeast New England as a likely historic winter storm closes in. The latest model simulations continue to bury Boston under a debilitating dump of wind-driven snow.

Over two feet of snow is a strong possibility in the Boston area, with 30 inches or more not out of the question. The storm has potential to be the city’s most prolific snow-producer on record, surpassing the 27.5 inches recorded during the February 17-18, 2003 storm.

Related: The science behind the blizzard

The National Weather Service office serving Boston has totally bought into the mind-boggling amounts of snow spit out by computer models, headlining its Blizzard Warning:


Two storms will come together off the Mid-Atlantic coast today - one pushing through the Ohio Valley and the second off the North Carolina coast as of 10-11 a.m. this morning. As the storms merge later today and tonight, snow will become very heavy and winds will intensify in southern New England.

The NWS is warning travel will be dangerous, with paralyzing snow amounts and whiteout conditions. It also cautions the winds may damage trees and structures, and cause power outages.

Philadelphia to New York City

Snow amounts likely decrease somewhat south of Connecticut, but still are likely to be enough to cripple the greater New York City region where a blizzard warning is in effect through 1 p.m. Saturday. Forecasts are generally for 10 to 14 inches in the Big Apple, with conditions rapidly deteriorating late this afternoon and especially tonight.

Philadelphia is on the south side of possible substantial snows and is expecting rain for the better part of today. As colder air wraps into the region tonight, rain is expected to change to snow late with up to 3 to 5 inches forecast. A winter weather advisory is in effect for the city, with winter storm warnings in its northern suburbs for 4 to 8 inches or more.

Coastal impacts

NAM model simulates sustained winds over 20-35 knots from coastal Delaware to coastal Connecticut and 30-45 knots in eastern Massachusetts. (

The NWS service office serving the Delaware and Jersey shores cautions moderate to major beach erosion is expected Friday evening into Saturday morning during high tide.

Further north, meteorologist Jeff Masters notes “serious” coastal flooding is expected in Massachusetts with a 2-4 foot storm surge predicted. This will be enough to cause minor to major coastal flooding Masters says. Around New York City, only minor coastal flooding is expected, but severe beach erosion may occur along the north and northeast facing shores of Long Island, Masters adds.


Here’s a video report on the storm from the Associated Press

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.


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