Blog: Powerful Nor’easter. Huge Mess!

Systems Merge

A strong nor’easter has been forming over the last 24 hours.  It comes as 2 areas of low pressure are merging over our region.  One came in from the Midwest, and was wrapped in lots of cold air.  The other low came up along the coast and was surrounded by warmer air.

2 Systems

Now the 2 have merged over Hampton Roads. The coastal low has become the primary low.

Systems Merge

The warmer air tried to push inland a bit this morning.  Temps were in the 50s along the coast early, but temps were in the 30s inland.  It was neat to see the temperature gradient.  Then the colder air started to push back to the southeast as winds turned out of the northwest.  That same cold air helped to cause the heavy snow from D.C. to Boston this morning.  The nor’easter will continue to push northward today.  As it moves away a few things will happen.  First off the winds will all turn out of the northwest and they will increase.  Winds will run at 10-20mph with gusts up to 35mph.  There will be gusts up to 45mph or higher near the shore.

Wind Forecast This Afternoon

The second thing that will happen will be the rain coverage decreasing.  Showers were widespread up through about 4am this morning.

Rain Early This Morning

Through the midday and afternoon showers will be more scattered with breaks at times.

Future Trak (Midday)

 

Future Trak (This Afternoon)

 

There will be some sleet and some snowflakes trying to mix in at times.  However, this will fall on a very wet ground.  Also temps will be above freezing.  So nothing should stick with the exception of a few grassy spots.  Temps will be in the 30s this morning.  They should rise to the 40s this afternoon.  Keep in mind with the wind as strong as it is, it will feel like the 30s with the wind chills. So bundle up!

By this evening most of the region will dry out.  It looks like there may be one more wind shift moving through or at least an upper level disturbance.  So there may be one last round of showers with a possible wintry mix around 6-8pm.

Future Trak This Evening

Overnight cold air will push into the region.  Low temps will drop to the upper 20s.  The wind will stay strong out of the west/northwest.  They will run at 10-20mph with gusts up to 30mph. Especially near the shore. So wind chills will be in the teens.  The models are pretty dry for tonight.  I think we could see some flurries in the region with a few pockets of light snow north of the metro.

Tomorrow the system will be well to our north, but there will still be a large upper level trough (dip in the jetstream) overhead.  This could lead to a few flurries in the morning, but I think the dry air will win out for most of the day.  That means a mix of sun and clouds basically.  High temps will only be in the upper 30s.  Winds will be out of the west/northwest at 10-20mph with gusts up to 30mph near the shore. Wind chills will be in the teens and 20s.

Wind Forecast Wednesday Afternoon

Winds will finally taper off by Wednesday evening.

Things will quiet down on Thursday.  It will be cold in the morning with lows in the 20s.  Highs will be in the 40s in the afternoon.  There’s some good news and some bad news for the weekend.  The good news is that we will warm up a bit.  Highs look like they’ll be able to reach the 50s.  Possibly some upper 50s to near 60 on Saturday.  However…..There’s a higher chance for rain now for Saturday.  This will impact some St. Patrick’s Day Events and some events for the Shamrock Marathon.  The bigger event is on Sunday for the Shamrock.  Luckily we’ll dry out that day with highs near 50, but it could be a soaking rain on Saturday.  Stay tuned for updates. It looks like we will start to warm up more by next week.

Before I go… I’m not expecting much from tidal flooding from this event. The wind will be primarily out of the west/northwest.  That tends to water to push out of the bay.  There may be some minor tidal flooding on the sound-side of the Outer Banks.  There will be some high waves along the shore.  They will run at about 7-8ft near the shore.  This could cause some minor beach erosion.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

 

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