Thursday, February 7, 2013

Epic Blizzard / Snowstorm on the Way to New England/Northeast...

If you have any travel plans at all across the Northeast U.S., you either need to get them done today, or plan to wait until early next week.  If you live in this region, please rush your winter storm preparations to completion today, as I fear even the most basic "necessities" will be difficult if not impossible to obtain (and not to mention physically get to) later on Friday and Saturday, and for some time beyond in some areas...

A storm system of epic proportions is taking aim on the Northeast, with New England in the "bullseye" for Friday and Saturday.

Each computer model forecast run becomes progressively more scary, with an almost hurricane like winter storm forecast to take shape across the region for the 2nd half of tomorrow and into Saturday.

The latest run of the high resolution NAM computer model is now forecasting 12+ inches of snow as far South as middle Jersey.  The image below is the total snowfall through 7pm EST Saturday:

As you can see, the NYC Metro is now within the 12+" snowfall range, with epic snow amounts in excess of 40 inches forecast for much of New England.
Here is a wider view of the same image above, showing additional portions of the Northeast and Great Lakes region:

The overnight runs of the high resolution, Short Range Ensemble Forecast (SREF) models continue to forecast an average of 30 inches of snow at Boston:

...while the same models have a much wider range for NYC, with the average at that time near 10 inches (I expect this morning's run to increase that average amount):

Add 40-50 mph winds with higher gusts for much of New England and coastal Long Island, and we'll have a full fledged, extremely dangerous blizzard situation on hand from primarily late Friday through Saturday.  Some areas will need to tape 2 yardsticks together to measure the snow drifts!

The NAM computer model radar simulation valid 7pm EST Saturday shows an almost eye-like feature approaching Long Island from the South: 

The forecast path of the surface low will push sea water up along Long Island and also cause significant beach erosion to many of the areas already hard hit by Hurricane Sandy last year, as well as further North through Cape Cod where hurricane force wind gusts will be likely.

As I stated at the top of the post, this system will put a complete stop to ground and air travel across the region.  I would expect flight delays to begin as early as later today as some of the more proactive (cough, cough) airlines begin to cancel flights ahead of the storm.  A wintry mix of precipitation is currently falling at Chicago, and already causing delays there.

Even more importantly, if you live across this region and didn't take action yesterday, be sure to get out today and buy extra non-perishable food, bottled water and other needed supplies.  If you have prescription or other medication that is running low, go ahead and get that filled today as well just in case.  You may not be able to get out for several days after this event in some areas, particularly across New England.

Power outages will be widespread due to the heavy, wet snow and strong winds.  Be sure to stock up on batteries, candles, matches and firewood just in case.  Grab an extra propane tank for the grill - that might be the only way to heat food or water in some areas this weekend and into next week.

"Stay tuned" for more on this upcoming event today and Friday...

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