Storm Overview: Significant Coastal Storm March 6-8

A strong storm system is developing to our south and will slowly track its way northward. There still exists plenty of computer model uncertainty, considering how close we are to the storm, but I’ll break down general expectations as well as I can given the current data.

When will the storm start? Light rain and sprinkles will overspread the region during the late morning, with temperatures in the upper 30s to around 40. However, the precipitation will remain light for several hours after the storm’s start, and temperatures will only drop by a few degrees as we head towards the early and mid afternoon.

When will the storm be at its worst? There are still some models that do not hit the area very hard. However, the team here is for the most part disregarding those models, while also not weighing the strongest model too heavily. The middle ground solution that we favor shows the rain changing over to snow during the mid to late afternoon hours, but not accumulating right away. The heavier, accumulating snow would generally fall between the hours of 8 p.m. and 3 a.m.

What conditions can we generally expect when the storm is at its worst? During the peak of the storm, much of the area should be receiving snowfall rates between 0.5″ and 1.5″ per hour. Also, winds will be quite strong and gusty out of the north and northeast. Winds will be sustained between 20 and 35 miles per hour at times, with gusts ranging from 40-50 miles per hour; though further inland locations may have slightly tamer winds. The shores will experience some storm surge, but considering the strongest winds will be out of the north and northeast, the beaches should be able to avoid a very serious situation. That being said, moderate erosion is still expected.

How much snow will we receive? We are forecasting a general wide swath of 3-6″ for most of the region. There is the potential for more in some spots, especially if the more robust models verify, but the blend we used yields 3-6″ totals. A potential wild card as a “part two” that might occur later on during Thursday and into early Friday morning. Some models are developing another band of snow to our north and attempt to push it towards our region. The uncertainty with this portion is quite high, and our forecast only slightly takes this potential into account.

We are officially in storm mode now, so check back to our page for frequent updates! Stay safe, everyone.