The East Coast will be hit with a major snowstorm and potential blizzard starting Friday evening that could bring up to 2 feet of snow to New England and disrupt cities stretching from Virginia to Maine.
About 65 million people were under winter warning as of sunrise Friday, stretching from South Carolina to New England. These included blizzard warnings in an almost continuous stretch from Virginia to Maine. These are the first blizzard warnings most of the East Coast has seen in four years.
The latest projections come as the main forecast models finally reached better agreement early Friday, predicting a storm track closer to the coast, leading to higher snowfall forecasts for all locations from Washington to Boston. .
On Friday, a cold front is expected to bring light to moderate snow to parts of the mid-Atlantic and northeast. This snow is not associated with the northeast.
On Friday evening, snow associated with the intensifying coastal storm was expected to begin along mid-Atlantic coastal areas and spread northward, increasing in coverage and intensity. Winds will also increase, as will the risk of coastal flooding.
Saturday continues to be the most impactful day from New York to Boston, with the heaviest snowfall coinciding with the strongest winds, at times reaching hurricane force. The snow will end at noon for New York and in the evening for Boston.
By Sunday, all the snow will be off the coast of Maine by mid-morning, but gusty winds could bring blowing snow throughout the day.
As of Friday afternoon, more than 2,900 flights within, to or from the United States had been canceled for Saturday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware, with major East Coast cities seeing the most cancellations. Boston’s Logan International Airport recorded more than 300 cancellations, while New York’s John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports recorded 349 and 256 cancellations, respectively. New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport recorded 288 cancellations.
The highest snow totals will be for far eastern Long Island, eastern Massachusetts and coastal Maine. Southeast Massachusetts, in particular, is where up to 2 to 3 feet of snow could fall. This is also where the strongest winds will be and where power outages are most likely.
Washington will see light snow starting Friday evening and a total of 1 to 3 inches is expected. Philadelphia will likely see a bit more with 4 to 8 inches of snow expected. New York could see up to a foot, with wind gusts of up to 80 km/h. Boston will be the hardest hit city on the East Coast with between 18 and 24 inches of snow expected.
Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency across New Jersey beginning at 5 p.m. Friday.
The predicted storm is expected to “bring heavy snowfall and strong gusty winds across the state, with blizzard conditions in parts of New Jersey,” it said in a statement Friday afternoon. “Residents should exercise extreme caution, stay off the roads, stay alert, and follow all safety protocols.
Officials also said in the statement that the storm had the potential to cause a “significant number of power outages” due to the heavy snow and high winds that were forecast.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the storm “deadly severe” at a Friday afternoon news conference and urged people to stay indoors. Hochul, who declared a state of emergency beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, urged New Yorkers to finish their work day on Friday and make necessary preparations before conditions worsen, warning that “the best way to deal with this is to stay at home”.
In North Carolina, which is recovering from two recent winter storms, Governor Roy Cooper told residents on Friday to “stay put” if they live in areas where it will be unsafe to go out Saturday morning.
In addition to the Northeast, the treacherous cold gripping much of the East, including as far south as Florida, will also be a major weather story this weekend.
The next Arctic blast will affect the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast from Friday through Saturday, with high temperatures forecast 10 to 20 degrees below average.
By Sunday, the cold air will spread all the way to South Florida where cities like Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami could experience their coldest temperatures in years.
With Miami’s low forecast expected to drop into the upper 30 degrees Sunday morning, it will be the coldest temperature it has seen since December 2010.