10:40 AM | *****Extreme winds throughout the I-95 corridor and wind-whipped heavy, wet snow coming to Philly, NYC and NJ*****
A major storm is intensifying off the Mid-Atlantic coastline and it is now running into an “atmospheric brick wall” on its attempt to move to the north. As a result, this powerful storm will be forced to loop back around and head to the south-southeast over the next several hours. Extreme winds will be a major impact from this storm in the entire I-95 corridor from DC-to-Philly-to-NYC and wind-whipped heavy, wet accumulating snow is coming to the Philly, NYC metro regions and throughout New Jersey for the late morning and afternoon hours (i.e., blizzard-like conditions).
Colder air is wrapping into the system and with its movement to the south later today, the colder air will also advance to the south with temperatures dropping through the 30's. The rain has already mixed with or changed to snow in many parts of northern NJ and in the NYC metro region and the rain-to-snow transition line will push southward into the Philly metro region over the next few hours as well as across central and southern New Jersey and the changeover can be quick and dramatic. Wind-whipped snow is likely to accumulate in the NYC and Philly metro regions as well throughout much of New Jersey during the latter morning and afternoon hours with up to a few inches possible (1-4 inch range). This will be a heavy, wet snow and will only increase the chances for power outages as wet tree limbs will be weighed down by any snow that falls.
Extreme winds have already occurred early this morning in the DC metro region with at least 140,000 power outages reported in that metro area (as of 10:30 AM). Extremely strong winds will continue into the early afternoon hours even while the sun makes an appearance at times and the number of power outages in the DC metro region will no doubt increase dramatically given this extended period of high and damaging winds. The highest wind gust that I have seen reported so far in the DC metro region is 69 mph at Patuxent, MD and this early morning pilot report from a plane landing at Dulles Airport kind of summarizes the day in the DC metro region:
The highest wind gusts in Philly, NYC and New Jersey will take place from late this morning through the afternoon hours when winds could reach 60 mph or so to go along with the snow.. Cape May, NJ has already reported a wind gust to 49 mph and West Grove in southern Chester County has reported a 50 mph gust. Winds will remain strong overnight and early Saturday, but then diminish during the afternoon hours on Saturday.
Stay tuned...still a fluid situation.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian
Extended morning video discussion on the major storm: