Winter storm likely Tuesday into Wednesday

Forecast model guidance has come into good agreement on the eventual track and intensity of a winter storm which is forecast ot impact the area from Tuesday through Wednesday. The system was initially forecast to develop well seaward, but guidance over the last 24 to 48 hours has trended more amplified, slower and stronger with the storm system. The result is a moderate impact winter storm which is expected to begin during the afternoon on Tuesday and continue into Wednesday morning. A mid level disturbance dropping south from the Northern Plains will eventually amplify in the Mississippi Valley before moving off the East Coast, helping to develop a surface low and a nor’easter overnight into Wednesday morning.

It is the exact track and intensity of this low pressure which forecast models have struggled with. But newer guidance agrees that the placement and development of the system will support widespread snowfall through the area. Heavier bands of snow and wind are likely from the I-95 corridor south and east, with highest snowfall totals expected near the area coasts of New Jersey and Long Island. These bands, however, remain unpredictable and can often wind up impacting other areas despite what forecast guidance suggests. Below, we have included our 411 on the storm system including expected totals, timing, and information as well as a snowfall forecast map. Later tonight, we will issue a new set of products including hazards briefings and other information.

Storm Total Snowfall Forecast from Jan 20 2014

Storm Total Snowfall Forecast from Jan 20 2014

SNOW TIMING: Beginning from 9-11 a.m as snow spreads from southwest to northeast. Heavier snow is forecast to develop during the mid afternoon hours between 2-4pm and continue through around midnight, perhaps lingering later than that in eastern areas. Snow is expected to taper off and wrap up between 3 and 6 am from west to east.

ACCUMULATIONS: 6-10″ of snow is expected in a large part of New Jersey, Southeast New York, and Long Island including New York City. The higher amounts of that range are expected near the area shores. There is the potential for some higher amounts in bands of heavier snow over Coastal and Central NJ, as well as Long Island. Some lower amounts are possible (4-6″) over NW NJ, SE NY and CT away from the best dynamics and banding.

SNOW TYPE: Very powdery, with favorable snow growth and ratios. Snow may be a bit less powdery near the area shores, but in general not a heavy or weighted snow, but more of a classic winter storm.

WINDS: There will be winds and drifting, especially near the area coasts where winds could come near blizzard criteria for a short period of time. However, we do not expect widespread or significant drifting similar to the 1/3/2014 event.

COASTAL FLOODING: We are not currently anticipating widespread coastal flooding.

BITTER COLD: The precipitation will coincide with the arrival of polar air, although it will not be as cold as the arctic blast earlier this month. Still, below zero wind chills are likely late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.