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Posted at 1:15 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Philly, New York, and Boston face major snow

By Jason Samenow

Deep low pressure off the coast of Massachusetts simulated by the NAM model at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Heavy precipitation is pivoting around the low into New England. Source:

While the Washington, D.C. area awaits a modest 1-3" type snowstorm, the big cities of the Northeast prepare for their second major, perhaps crippling snowstorm of the 2010-2011 season.

Two areas of low pressure - one from the Ohio Valley and a second off the Carolina coast - will consolidate into single powerful storm off the northern mid-Atlantic coast and then explosively develop into a classic East Coast "bomb" or Nor'Easter. (The low pressure is projected to deepen more than 30 mb in 24 hours, meeting the criteria for bombogenesis)

Philadelphia will be on the southern side of the rapid intensification and may only get 4-8". But New York City is likely to pick up 6-12" or so, with Boston hitting the jackpot in the 12-16" range.

Snowfall rates could be quite high especially from just northeast of Philadelphia into southeast Maine where there is the potential for thundersnow due to the energy associated with the storm development according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. Regions impacted by thundersnow could see snowfall rates of 3" an hour or so.

The snow will begin this evening in Philadelphia between 6 and 10 p.m. and progress toward New York city between 8 p.m. and midnight. The Boston region should see the onset of snow just after midnight.

The snow will end first in Philadelphia Wednesday morning but will take until mid-to-late afternoon to taper off in New York and early-to-mid evening in Boston. Expect significant flight delays and possible cancellations in these cities.

New York and especially Boston will also have to contend with increasing winds. Winds of 20-25 mph with gusts over 40 mph are possible Wednesday afternoon and evening in Boston.

Due to its relatively fast forward speed, amounts will not generally be as great for this storm as the Boxing Day Blizzard of 12/26 for Philadelphia and New York. However, the storm may slow down enough by the time it reaches Boston for the storm to match 12/26 totals there.

Here are some great blogs on the Northeast storm potential:

HAM Weather: Another Big Northeast Snowstorm

Weather Journal: Big Snows Return to Big Apple

New England weather blog (Matt Noyes): Updated Expectations for Tuesday Night/Wednesday Storm

By Jason Samenow  | January 11, 2011; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. Weather  
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Next: Midday round-up: Light snow event on track


CWG- Any news on the model being farther west than anticipated?

I'm a Loudouner and we need a lot more snow this season. Practically drought conditions here.

Posted by: celt1 | January 11, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Why do we keep getting the shaft?! I NEED SNOW!! :*(

Posted by: sigmagrrl | January 11, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse


What's more important than the track is the rate of intensification. So far, no indication it's deepening rapidly enough (i.e. faster than projected) to throw significant snow back to Loudoun. It's hard to see you getting much more than 1".

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

As i mentioned before, i am from Boston originally and i sure miss the snow they get. I remember driving to work in a blizzard. It was no bid deal and you could go night skiing when you came home. (i lived near a local ski resort) So i guess this 'dry spot' of DC makes us losers again. Oh well, such is life!

Posted by: lisajulia | January 11, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey GWG. Thanks for the coverage. Just wondering if you had any blog/site recommendations for equally awesome coverage for the Philadelphia area?

Posted by: cmags44 | January 11, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse


Thank you for clarifying!

That's unfortunate. Last winter buried us alive, now this winter's going to be drier than watching CSPAN.

I'll cross my fingers that this storm defies the laws of physics and gives us a good 6-10 inches :-)

Posted by: celt1 | January 11, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

i seriously doubt you'll find an "equally awesome" weather site for any city.

jason and "the gang" take this stuff incredibly seriously. they try to communicate as many of the complexities and uncertainties of the forecast as possible, give us constant updates, and earnestly try to answer all of our questions. further, even though we may sometimes want them to, they don't lose credibility by hyping every potential snow event as the next snowmaggedon....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 11, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding, not enen 1 inch. This winter is really starting to blow BIG TIME.

Posted by: dannythe357 | January 11, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse


I'm a fan of

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

New York, New York, it's a wonderful town....
I hope that guy makes another "Blizzard" video.
Because that may be the only way I get to see substantial snowfall this season.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 11, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks much, Jason. I was talking up the site to family in Philadelphia. Keep up the great work!

Posted by: cmags44 | January 11, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

This storm shouldn't be a problem in New York. Despite the bizarre reporting from DC after our Christmas weekend storm, and SNL's rather funny anti-Bloomberg open, the snow here really was cleared very quickly, in Queens and Manhattan at least.

The only problem in Queens seemed to be abandoned vehicles, which did delay the clearing of a lot of streets. (A friend's street wasn't cleared for 4 days, until the owner of the offending car finally showed up to remove it. But everyone just tramped down the snow and drove over it.)

I can't explain to you why so many people felt the need to go out joy-riding during the storm; my own brother in law was almost one of them, until my sister forbade it. I can only surmise that it had to do with the overly celebratory nature of the holiday weekend, which hopefully will not be repeated on a Wednesday morning.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 11, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

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