Maybe you thought you were going to get through this winter without too much rough weather. Not so fast. If the current forecast is accurate, there is still some winter yet to come.
The National Weather Service warned residents of the upper Midwest, the Northeast and the Middle Atlantic on Sunday of “widespread heavy snowfall and possible blizzard conditions” in the coming days “as reality sets in that winter is not quite over.”
How much snow are we talking about? A lot.
If you live in or around Washington, Baltimore or Philadelphia, you could see as much as a foot of snow Monday and Tuesday, said Andrew Orrison, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. A winter storm watch has been issued for those areas.
The situation is expected to be worse for people who live in and around New York, Long Island, coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island or Boston. Snowfall there could reach 1 to 2 feet, he said.
“Suffice it to say, we are looking at a significant winter storm for much of the I-95 corridor,” Orrison said.
The New York metro area and other regions facing a blizzard watch could experience stronger wind, with gusts of up to 60 mph forecast on Long Island and in parts of southeastern Connecticut.
The blizzard watch extended from just south of Newark up the Connecticut coast. The rest of the state, Massachusetts and Rhode Island were under a winter storm warning, with forecasters predicting 12-18 inches of snow. Tuesday was expected to bring heavy snowfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour for all of southern New England, except perhaps on Cape Cod, and winds strong enough to knock over trees and power lines were predicted for parts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
“Pretty big storm for this time of year,” said Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Taunton, Massachusetts, adding that it would probably snarl the morning and evening commutes Tuesday.
Large parts of New York state, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Northern Virginia were also under a winter storm warning on Sunday night.
So far, this winter has felt like something of a reprieve for Boston, where memories of the record-breaking winter of 2015, which brought a string of storms that January and February, are all too fresh. Still, Boston has had 39.2 inches of snow this year, which Simpson said was a bit more than usual, including a blizzard that bore down in early February before the weather turned unusually springlike.
Simpson predicted that the weather would remain cold through the rest of the week.
“Any snow that falls in the system will stick around through at least into the weekend, and then there might be another system next weekend,” he said.
That means residents are in for a fresh round of digging out their cars and, perhaps, guarding their spots with space-savers — a practice that is frowned upon in parts of the city, but alive and well in others.
Late winter storms, Simpson said, are far from unprecedented in the city. The April Fools’ Day Blizzard of 1997 dropped about 25 inches on the city, and the snowiest March ever recorded, in 1993, piled nearly 39 inches of snow in a single month.
So, what are the odds that this is all a terrible mix-up? The weather has been nice all winter. Maybe this will not happen after all?
The chances of that are pretty slim.
“There is still some uncertainty with the model guidance we are looking at, but we are pretty confident there will be significant snowfall in the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast,” Orrison said. “We would certainly advise that people stay tuned for the latest forecast information.”
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