Just because the calendar flipped to spring doesn’t mean the Northeast won’t be dealing with a dollop of winter weather. A late-season nor’easter will round out the workweek, yielding a forecast that is wet for some and white for others.
A weak area of low pressure over the Carolinas will intensify today as a pair of approaching weather systems in the jet stream phase. That merging will further develop the slow-moving low as it tracks up the Mid-Atlantic and New England coastlines into the weekend.
Multiple rounds of precipitation will arrive in waves over the next three days, punctuated by episodes of strong wind and coastal flooding. Here, we break down the dreary outlook for the first full days of spring.
Thursday and Thursday night
Moderate-to-heavy rain has already broken out over the Mid-Atlantic, with lighter showers spanning from eastern Pennsylvania to Connecticut. The rain won’t make much progress northward into New England until midafternoon. Interstate 84 will be the dividing line between overcast skies to the east and steadier rains to the south and west.
New York City will continue to see off-and-on showers through the afternoon and evening, with a few downpours mixing in around suppertime. A four-hour band of very heavy rain and embedded thunder will arrive in the Big Apple just after sunset, lasting until a bit past midnight before exiting to the north. Hartford will see this between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m., and the Boston-to-Providence corridor after 11 p.m. The downpour complex won’t make it to Maine or New Hampshire before daybreak.
Higher elevations from the Catskills to the White Mountains of New Hampshire could see pockets of snow accompany bursts of the heaviest precipitation.
The heftiest rainfall totals will be observed 25 to 50 miles west of Interstate 95, where a widespread 1 to 2.5 inches will come down. Localized spots could pick up 3.5 inches, thanks to enhancement by the Appalachians. A flood watch is in effect for these areas, blanketing the map from Washington to a tad south of Newark.
Elsewhere, amounts will drop off to the east with 0.5 to 1 inches anticipated by late morning Friday. An exception may be over Cape Cod, which could be clipped by a brief but intense tropical fire hose late tonight with a few more downpours or thunder.
Gusty southerly winds and a high astronomical tide left over from last night’s full worm moon might result in minor splashover. Those concerns come tonight for some ocean-exposed beaches along the Jersey Shore, as well as for vulnerable areas of the New York metro area. A coastal flood advisory remains in effect.
Skies will brighten south to north as the sprawling storm system’s “dry slot” overspreads the region. Areas south of the Massachusetts Turnpike will wake to partial sunshine, while places farther north could remain socked in beneath cloud cover or stubborn rain for most of the day.
The moisture might come down as snow for some in eastern New York. After a brief lull, the “comma head” of the system will pivot through, bringing dramatically cold air and a chance of snow for many.
In New England, a region of light to briefly moderate snow will accompany the storm’s “stinger” as it crashes eastward in the wee hours of Saturday morning, with temperatures plummeting in its wake. Models seem overzealous on the amount of low-level dry air in place, and instead there may be enough leftover moisture from the rain to support snow-making all the way to the coast. There are some hints that this comma head could be a bit of an overachiever. Most of the precipitation should wane after noon. After the precipitation exits, a shot of chillier air will rush in (highs in the 30s and 40s) on the heels of winds gusting more than 40 mph.
Into the Mid-Atlantic, expect very breezy conditions (gusts over 30 mph) in the storm’s wake and the chance of a few afternoon showers.
In the Mid-Atlantic, expect sunny skies with winds slowly easing and highs near 50.
Sunday, meanwhile, will be glorious up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Expect clear skies and highs in the 50s in the Northeast and near 60 in the Mid-Atlantic.