Hope you weren’t planning to enjoy your long weekend if you live in the Northeast. Some of the coldest weather in years is set to descend on the region on Friday night, only to be followed by a storm that will sweep up the Eastern Seaboard.
This extremely rude weather will create dangerous, possibly life-threatening conditions. I’ve got a chill just staring out my window at the bare branches quaking in the wind that’s already whipping through New York and looking at the photos coming out of the Midwest, where the storm system that will blast the East Coast is currently churning.
Depending on where you live you could see bone-chilling cold, heavy snow, ice, rain, or a combination of some or all of these hazards! Truly it’s a great weekend to curl up and watch some playoff football. Come with me as we take a tour of what’s in store for the coming days so that you can plan your trips out to the grocery store and back accordingly.
“Dangerously cold wind chills” are on tap for Friday night across the entirety of the Northeast, from Maine to Pennsylvania, according to the National Weather Service. Areas near the Canadian border and in the mountains from Maine to New York could see wind chill values as low as minus-45 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-43 degrees Celsius). Major cities like Boston and New York will also see subzero wind chills, with Boston getting as low as minus-20 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-29 degrees Celsius). The NWS helpful notes that the level of cold could allow frostbite to set in within 30 minutes for any exposed skin.
The source of the cold is an Arctic front that will come screaming from the northwest ahead of the storm. It will kick winds up and cause temperatures to plummet at the same time. Boston is forecast to see temperatures drop a staggering 40 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) from Friday afternoon into Saturday morning. Even as they rebound over Saturday, winds will still conspire to keep things feeling like its single-digit weather outside.
The storm headed for the East Coast is doing a number on the Midwest right now. The Dakotas and Upper Midwest have already been blasted by snow, with as much as a foot (31 centimeters) falling in North Dakota.
The storm is working its way to the Southeast, with a large area as far south as Missouri looking at heavy snow coupled with gusty winds that cause visibility to deteriorate into Saturday afternoon. Flakes could fall as far south as Alabama as the storm drops into the Southeast on Saturday.
Memphis and Nashville will see measurable snow while most of Tennessee will see “moderate” or “major” winter storm impacts that could threaten life and property. Atlanta, meanwhile, is more likely to see a miserable, cold rainy Saturday as it will sit on the (relatively) warm side of the storm. In between, freezing rain and sleet are likely for parts of northern Georgia, which will create its own nightmare travel conditions.
After taking a trip across the Southeast, the storm will turn northward on Saturday night into Sunday and make life messy for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The cold air at the storm’s core means large portions of the Appalachians from the Carolinas to Pennsylvania could see a foot or more of snow, including periods where snowfall rates approach 2 inches (5 centimeters) an hour. That will make for incredibly dangerous driving conditions.
But locations to the east of that core are more likely to see lower totals or even rain. Washington, DC, is looking at what Capital Weather Gang is calling a “slushy 1 to 3 inches” of snow in town, which sounds like absolute trash. In New York, it’ll be largely cold rain, including on Monday. This is also, frankly, trash. It’s enough to make even the most hardened New Yorker look at the Los Angeles forecast for the long weekend with envy.