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

1:45 PM | Major storm threat continues for mid-week in the Mid-Atlantic region

Paul Dorian


The threat for a major storm continues for the Mid-Atlantic region from DC to Philly to NYC during the middle of next week (Wednesday/Thursday) as multiple models tend to agree on such a scenario including the 12Z GFS, 12Z Canadian and 12Z Euro. The general consensus is for a storm to drop southeastward from the Pacific Northwest early next week to a position near the Mid-Atlantic coast by mid-week. The storm will then likely intensify quite rapidly and could actually slowdown in its forward movement (which makes some sense given the overall “blocking” pattern to the north in eastern Canada). In fact, there are hints of a “loop” in the storm track that could bring it from a position offshore back towards the coast at some point during this event which would prolong the period of strong winds and precipitation. A possible analog for this storm may very well be the “Ash Wednesday” storm of March 5-9, 1962 which battered the east coast over a long period of time. That nor’easter remained stationary for almost 36 hours so that beach and barrier flooding lasted over five consecutive high tides. It brought heavy snow to inland locations (e.g. Appalachians), heavy rains at the coast, and both accumulating snow and rain to many locations along I-95.

The main upper level energy that will help to generate this storm is still way out over the Pacific Ocean so the most important computer model runs will come later this weekend when that wave comes ashore on the Pacific Northwest coast. Precipitation type will of course be crucial for this storm and from this early vantage point odds may favor rain near the coast, snows inland, and a mix in between, but critical details like that will have to wait until early next week to be ironed out. Bottom line, it is still several days away, but the potential continues for a major east coast storm that could bring heavy snow, heavy rain and strong winds to the Mid-Atlantic region next Wednesday/Thursday.