Saturday morning update
The “Blizzard of 2016” will continue through the day and well into the night in the Mid-Atlantic region from DC-to-Philly-to-NYC. Most areas picked up a foot or more overnight and those amounts can be easily doubled over the next 24 hours or so with some areas reaching 30+ inches by tomorrow. The snow will come down at varying rates today as small-scale or “mesoscale” banding is setting up on the northwest side of the storm. Also, a dry slot of air has developed and it could cause a diminishing of the precipitation to next to nothing for awhile early today – but that dry slot will disappear shortly as additional bands move into the area. At times today, there will be blizzard conditions with whiteout conditions featuring heavy snow at 2-3 inch per hour rates and increasingly strong NE winds. Thunder snow has already been reported in some spots and can occur anywhere today along the I-95 corridor. This will turn out to be one of the all-time great snowstorms in the Mid-Atlantic region with historic snow accumulations in some areas.
The center of the low pressure system is just off the southeast VA coastline this morning and it will continue to slowly advance to the north – intensifying along the way from its current 988 millibars (29.18 inches) – and then eventually it’ll make a turn to the ENE. The upper-level low is closed off over the central Appalachians and a strong upper-level jet streak sits along the east coast. All of this spells many more hours of action in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Winds along the east coast have already been clocked at 85 mph with this intense storm (Assateague Island, Maryland). Expect wind gusts to 70+ mph along the NJ coastline later today and to 50+ mph at inland locations including in the immediate I-95 corridor and power outages are a concern throughout the region and there will be some serious blowing and drifting. All areas that experience a mixture of sleet and/or rain this morning will see a change back to all snow later today as cold air collapses towards the coast from northwest-to-southeast once the surface low makes a turn to the ENE. Some preliminary snow reports as of early this morning: 16 inches at Dulles, 14 inches at DCA, 20 inches Frederick, MD, 13 inches West Chester, PA, 22 inches New Freedom, PA (York Co.), 12 inches Staten Island, NY, 15 inches in Center City Philly.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian