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Don’t panic, but a ‘Nor’easter bomb’ might bring snow to the East Coast next week

Snow-covered tables in Washington, D.C., earlier this week. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

People of the East Coast, I bring sad and frigid news about what this unending winter might deliver next week. The National Weather Service released a warning that a “Nor’easter bomb” could be in store for the Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday night.

Here’s where I pause for a moment to note that this is just a forecast made several days in advance, and obviously with such forecasts you must remember that they are merely scientific pronouncements about what may happen rather than hard and fast declarations stating what will happen. The NWS notes in its warning that this is all about potential, so keep that in mind.

Here’s what the NWS says:

“The east-coast cyclone has the potential to produce late-season heavy snowfall over a wide swath of real estate from Virginia to New England; that is a generality at this point. Much remains in terms of refining the forecast state by state. Another high-impact factor will be the powerful winds generated by this sprawling, intense circulation, along with high seas, beach battery, coastal flooding, and so forth. Again, at this point, such sensible weather effects are simply attendant to the potential of such a storm.”

(The word “bomb” is used when low-pressure centers deepen at a particularly fast rate, according to Eric Holthaus, who flagged the warning in the first place.)

It’s okay, though, because spring — actual spring, not just the official start of spring, the kind of spring where I can start wearing sandals outside again — is almost here! And with spring comes the salvation of warmth, comfort and — what’s that, Capital Weather Gang’s Jason Samenow?

The spring season will pose challenges of its own, NOAA cautioned today, in releasing its spring outlook…. Drought in California is predicted to persist or intensify and up to half of the rivers in the U.S. are prone to minor to moderate flooding as snow melts and spring rains arrive. Little relief is likely for some of the areas hardest hit by cold.

Oh, and — wait, there’s more from Samenow:

Suppose a strong El Niño event does materialize later this summer or fall. What might it mean?

  • Large amounts of heat from the tropical Pacific Ocean would be released into the atmosphere, likely raising global temperatures to record-setting levels
  • Above normal rain would be favored in California.
  • Hurricane activity would likely be suppressed in the Atlantic

If you’ll excuse me. [climbs into storm bunker, locks the door, sobs quietly]

Mark Berman covers national news for The Washington Post and anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and stories from around the country.

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