21 April 2012

Nor-Easter Poised to Break East Coast Drought (Heavy snow possible as well.)

Posted by Dan Satterfield


Rainfall forecast from the NOAA 4KM resolution WRF Model. This is through early Monday. Click image for larger version. Ctsy. Penn State E-Wall.

The drought conditions from Florida to NY have been getting steadily worse, but some real relief is on the way starting tonight. A major Nor-easter is on the way as a rapidly deepening surface low runs up the East Coast on Sunday into Monday. While there may be some isolated severe weather, the main threat with this system is high winds and Gale Warnings are likely to be issued (first one just posted as I type for SC) for coastal waters from VA to Maine.


Satellite and surface pressure show the upper level and surface low are already developing in the northern Gulf of Mexico. This low will be along the Delaware Coast by late Sunday, and it will be much stronger.

High res. WRF model forecast of snowfall (fm PSU E-wall). Check with your local meteorologist on TV or with NOAA for amounts in your area. This is just guidance for forecasters. Click for full size image.

This kind of rain will do more good than harm, but with the high winds and heavy rains of over 3 inches forecast in some spots, some coastal flooding is possible. I am writing this on my back porch here in Salisbury,MD, and it is a sunny and beautiful day with the temp. near 80 degrees! What a change is coming in just a few hours. Highs tomorrow will fall into the 50’s across the entire region as the low winds up.

The pressure now is around 1004 millibars. Monday morning the pressure will have dropped to around 990 millibars (or perhaps lower).There will likely be enough cold air on the back side fo the low to bring some heavy late season snow to inland areas of PA and even the mountains of WV. Winter Storm Watches are now posted over parts of Pennsylvania.

Millions are of people, from South Carolina to Boston, are enjoying a beautiful warm and breezy day Saturday, but tomorrow will be DRASTICALLY different! It’s truly amazing how far forecasting has come over the last 20 years. It’s been obvious that some kind of storm would be coming up the coast this weekend for over a week and the overall forecast has changed little in the last three days.