Powerful storm likely to spare area major impacts

     Monday's 12z NAM model  indicating a major storm system developing offshore and pulling away to the northeast early Wednesday morning. (Image: Stormvistawxmodels.com via NY Metro Weather)

    Monday's 12z NAM model indicating a major storm system developing offshore and pulling away to the northeast early Wednesday morning. (Image: Stormvistawxmodels.com via NY Metro Weather)

    An ocean storm that forecasters say will rapidly and explosively develop will likely spare the area major impacts.

    Two pieces of energy will merge over the northeastern United States Tuesday and rapidly strengthen, but what forecasters call the “phase” will occur “too slow and a tick too far east/northeast, allowing us to dodge what would’ve otherwise been an incredibly high impact storm system,” said John Homenuk, lead forecaster at New York Metro Weather.

    But minor impacts are still on the table, he said, “even if only from the upper level trough and not directly related to the low pressure itself.” 

    “Forecast models have been indicating the potential for an area of enhanced lift to cross over the region late Tuesday night into early Wednesday, possibly proving sufficient to touch off areas of light snow which may bring light accumulations to some areas,” Homenuk said. 

    The latest forecast discussion from the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ calls for around 1.5 to 3.5 inches of snowfall over a 24 hour period, although according to the service’s forecast briefing Sunday, a higher late March sun angle and temperatures above freezing for areas outside of the highest elevations should prevent accumulations on paved surfaces during the daytime hours.

    Still, even though the storm’s center of circulation will pass far enough to the east, the area will experience some strong wind gusts, according to the National Weather Service. The tidal flooding risk is currently below minor flooding thresholds, the service said, “but there is still some uncertainty as to the intensification of the low and still a possibility it could track farther west.” 

    Skies will clear Wednesday morning, but with temperatures in the 30s and northwest winds possibly gusting up to 40 mph along the coast, it will feel more like January than late March.

    But all hope is not lost, as temperatures are expected to rise back to the 50s by Friday, according to NOAA.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.