Snowstorm In East, South Next Week Hinges On Cold Air

Friday, November 8, 2013

AccuWeather reports the arrival of arctic air next week has the potential to bring the season's first snowstorm or a near-miss from the Appalachians to the East Coast.

The schedule for next week's potential storm would be Tuesday over the Ohio Valley and eastern Great Lakes, Tuesday night and Wednesday over the southern Appalachians and Thursday along the Atlantic Seaboard.

Whether or not there will be a major snowstorm along the East Coast during the middle of next week depends on where the leading edge of the arctic air stops.

If the arctic air sweeps forcefully off the coast, it will erase the chance of a major coastal snowstorm.

If the leading edge of the arctic air pauses right along the coast, it will set up a south to north storm track with all of the potential impacts of a major nor'easter.

According to Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "The setup for a storm in this case is simple. However, the possibilities are endless and the speculation on the storm exceeds them."

The potential outcomes are very complex and too numerous to mention all of them.

Impacts range from major travel disruptions due to gales, windswept rain and heavy snow spanning North Carolina to Maine to a period of lesser snow over the Ohio Valley and Appalachians, which fizzles as it reaches the Atlantic coast.

With leaves still on the trees in the South and along part of the coast, the nor'easter scenario could mean regional power outages and blocked secondary roads, as well as coastal flooding and beach erosion from North Carolina to New Jersey, New York and New England.

ABC 7 New York City's Chief Meteorologist Lee Goldberg stated on Wednesday, that typically snow is not the most likely scenario along the I-95 corridor in mid-November. This is because Atlantic Ocean waters are still relatively warm this time of the year.

The warm water also tends to delay the arrival of cold air which will shift the track of coastal storms farther inland, which favors snow well inland and rain at the coast.

Storms that have more easterly momentum to start with still make the northward turn, but usually too far out to sea to bring snow to the coast.

So for there to be a major snowstorm from Raleigh, N.C., to New York City and Boston, the setup has to be perfect to compensate for the warm Atlantic Ocean.

At this point, this storm is a wait-and-see with more information coming in this weekend right up until the day of the storm or its close call.

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