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Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

8:30 AM Sat | Destructive coastal storm is now underway

Paul Dorian


A major coastal storm is now underway and it will be destructive in many parts of the interior Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. A very healthy looking storm is currently located near Cape Hatteras, NC and it will intensify today as it roars up along the east coast taking the perfect (and perhaps only) track for generating an unusual October snowfall for much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. A cold rain is now underway in the big cities along I-95 and accumulating snow is already falling across central PA, western Virginia, western Maryland and West Virginia. Specific current observations show snow is now falling in State College, PA, Hagerstown, MD and Leesburg, VA. This rain/snow line will move rather quickly from west-to-east as the day progresses with, for example, the next areas to switch over from rain to snow including Dulles Airport, VA and Harrisburg, PA. The timing for the transition from rain-to-snow in and around the big cities is as follows: the mid-to-late morning hours for the DC region, mid-day near Philly, and late afternoon to early evening for the NYC metro region. Accumulations of 1-3 inches are expected in the big cities with 3-6 inches in the nearby northern and western suburbs and there can even be some isolated higher amounts. Heavy, wet snow will bring down tree limbs in many locations between Virginia and Maine from this storm with numerous power outages possible. Wind will increase in intensity today and don’t be surprised if there is a little thunder and lightning mixed in during the height of the storm. Temperatures started off near 40 degrees this early morning, but will slowly drop through the 30's throughout the day. The storm winds down late this afternoon near DC, later this evening near Philly, and late tonight near NYC. Check back for updates.