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First Major Winter Storm in Over 3 Years Arrives Sunday Bringing Significant Impacts

Oh boy. Where to start? We've got A LOT of stuff to talk about and information to go over. I promise to be as detailed as possible for those who want to read it all... but I will also give a brief summary before we dive into the details so that those of you with busy lifestyles can get up to speed quickly.


  1. Snow arrives for EVERYONE by early afternoon Sunday. It will be cold enough to support the initial push of snow that could last until dinner even at the shore.

  2. Minor accumulations are possible out of that round. 1-4" for the shore, maybe 2-5" well west of the parkway.

  3. Rain/Snow line will be an issue with mixing. Still trying to figure exactly where that sets up because anyone SOUTH of that line will see significantly lower snow totals. I think it's mainly southeast of Hammonton.

  4. Winds kick in late Sunday into Monday. East at first then Northeast through the day. Entirely possible gusts get to 50mph+ and last through late day Monday before shifting out of the north.

  5. Tidal Flooding is a big concern of mine. Looks like could get to moderate threshold up and down the coast with a storm surge 2.5-3 feet.

  6. Storm departs and leftover snow showers fizzle by Tuesday morning.


Alright now that the bare bones stuff is out of the way, let's dive into each one of the topics and get a little more in-depth. That's what it's all about anyway, right?


It's a Miller B. Absolutely HATE forecasting those things because there are SO many moving parts and variables to consider. They give me and every other forecaster nightmares. They can go BOOM or BUST easily. I swear I still have PTSD from the "Great Nothing Burger of 2015". What a disaster that was. Blizzard warnings were up for everyone, we were expecting 20"+ and we got flurries. Talk about an embarrassment. Those types of events always loom large when making predictions like this - especially since it's been THREE years since our last significant storm.

At any rate - what IS a Miller B? I'm not going to drag it out. Simply put it's when a primary storm comes out of the Ohio Valley and transfers its energy to a coastal storm. That's the layman's definition. Don't want to waste your time getting into the specifics as that has no relevance. It's that transfer of energy that is so tricky to nail down. That determines how quickly the storm gets going. The quicker the transfer, the more organized a storm can get.

Once the coastal low forms, it deepens and intensifies. Winds pick up and precipitation shield starts to really fill in. There could be a period of several hours where the winds out of the EAST bring a warmer regime in changing the snow to rain or a mix even as far back as Philly... THAT is why I'm concerned about pulling the trigger on higher totals right now. I'll get into that a bit later.


We've seen some flip flopping back and forth over the last few days but there are several things that have been rather consistent, especially with the EURO. One is timing, another is intensity of the low and another still is it being a long duration event. We knew that five days ago! The waffling has been with track. Close to the coast or farther out to sea? I honestly don't think we will answer that until the transfer actually HAPPENS - which drives me insane. We are going to use my model of choice... the EURO... to walk us through the most likely situation.

Here's the EURO at the very start

You see the primary low in a good place, actually over West Virginia and then the little circle off of Hatteras... that becomes the Coastal low. I like where the is forming. The precipitation shield expands into South Jersey as light snow at first and then picks up through the afternoon. Now, one of the things I think is important to note is the fact that we've got A LOT of dry air to work through. It may be snowing on radar for a couple hours and nothing actually reaching the ground. The column of air beneath the clouds needs to saturate, otherwise the snow evaporates. How hard the snow can fall will determine how quickly the atmosphere can get to a point where is the snow DOES make it to the surface.

Here's the EURO showing where things stand as of Monday morning. The low is trying to get organized, winds start screaming out of the east and the rain/snow line pushes back towards Philly. EAST winds are NOT what you want for snow. As they shift around to the NORTHEAST, we end up in a better position, and that looks to happen by Monday afternoon as advertised here:

Take notice to the number just over the L. That tells you the central pressure and how strong the storm is. Definitely intensification going on as the number drops over time. This frame suggests some heavy banding on the northwest side of the storm... which is where the highest snowfall totals could be. Still have to figure out WHERE that mesoscale banding occurs but where it happens you'll see a bit of a jackpot... perhaps over a foot.


You need these numbers to be below 0 (Celsius) for snow. We are right where we need to be region-wide on Sunday afternoon which is why I don't see any issues starting out as snow for EVERYONE... and EVERYONE will see some accumulations out of it before the flip occurs.

By Monday morning we see a bit of a change as warmer air tries to work in. The battle zone looks to establish from south of Salem to South of Hammonton to Little Egg. North of there probably mostly snow. South, mixing with mainly rain which could wash away any accumulations piled up by Sunday night.

But Monday afternoon and evening we watch the numbers crash again... and this is when the banding could occur - again we are in the process of figuring out WHERE that will be... but the temps look good!

I think it's plausible that there could be a 3-6 hour period of sleet and freezing rain sitting on Philly's doorstep IF the low is closer to the coast as suggest by other models. ANY precip that isn't snow will automatically cut down on potential accumulations.


Winds start picking up by Sunday night but don't really get cranking until Monday morning and afternoon. East to start then Northeast to finish. The more NORTHLY component we have, the COLDER the storm will get and therefore the more snow. Coming in on that low level jet could also be a ton of moisture that could help really feed into the banding. If the winds shift NORTH you could end up with what we call as the "Long Island Sound Effect" which can DUMP snow in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties... kinda like late effect snow thanks to the temp difference. Neat stuff.

Gusts could get to 45-55mph... and if that's happening at the same time the snow is falling, we could absolutely see criteria met for blizzard conditions.


This is the less glamourous side of things but can be the most damaging. It's NOT the snow that is a concern at the shore it's the storm surge that will lead to widespread flooding. At the BARE MINIMUM it's high end minor but I believe we will see moderate levels. Always prepare for more and hope for less. It's Monday Morning 8am-11am and Monday Night 8pm-11pm that needs to be watched. Here are some of the reporting stations along the coast to give you an idea of what we could be looking at...

I'll monitor these levels very closely over the next 24 hours and keep you updated.


Alright... I know if you live WEST of the islands THIS is what you're concerned about. Here is my first-call map which could potentially be adjusted by tonight or tomorrow morning. I am very conservative in the way I forecast because I never want to give anyone panic or false hope. I think these numbers are realistic and easily achievable. I've had 4-8" in my mind for several days now and I think MOST of the area west of the parkway will fall into that range give or take a little. The greatest potential for over performance will be to our NORTH in Central Jersey and on the other side of Philly... this is where the heavy banding likely sets up shop.

I think the shore sees the best accumulations for your area SUNDAY PM before the changeover be cause temperatures won't be an issue. I have NO problem adding to these numbers but I'm not going to sit here and place 16-20" tallies because I just don't see that happening. Gotta take into consideration that it will be a heavy WET snow with marginal temps so our liquid to snow ratio will probably be UNDER 10:1... more like 8:1. So if you take the EURO map and adjust accordingly, this is what you end up with.

I'll give on Facebook live and on my page with more updates throughout the day. Stay tuned! Follow me on facebook, instagram and twitter for the very latest @NorEasterNick and download my APP for FREE NorCast Weather to stay updated.

Now, let's test to see if you read this entire thing. My favorite dessert is cheesecake. Have a great day!

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