- “Heavy snow is most likely in parts of New England, but it’s also possible further south along the East Coast.”
- Hurricane winds of 74 mph or more were felt in southeastern New England.
- While the storm’s exact path is uncertain, it’s likely to become a “bomb cyclone.”
A powerful winter storm is forecast to hit the East Coast on Friday and Saturday, forecasters said, with heavy snow and howling winds possibly from the Carolinas to Maine.
“Confidence is building that a significant winter storm Friday through the weekend will have significant impacts from the mid-Atlantic to the northeast,” the National Weather Service said Wednesday.
The Weather Service added, “Heavy snow is most likely in parts of New England, but it’s also possible further south along the East Coast, including the major I-95 metro areas from New York City to Washington, DC.”
AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno said, “This could be a huge snow storm for New England.” More than a foot of snow can fall in some areas, he said.
In addition, the Weather Service warned that “significant coastal impacts are possible in the northeast, including coastal flooding and beach erosion. Strong winds could cause drifting snow and some damage. Dangerous travel conditions are likely in parts of the region.”
According to AccuWeather, if the storm were to strengthen to its maximum potential, hurricane winds of 74 mph or more will be felt in southeastern New England and could cause power outages.
While the storm’s exact path is uncertain, it will likely become a “bomb cyclone,” a so-called winter hurricane that occurs when a storm gains strength by rapidly intensifying or dropping rapidly in atmospheric pressure.
A bomb cyclone, or bombogenesis, occurs when a storm’s central pressure drops by 24 millibars or more within 24 hours, AccuWeather said. When the pressure drops, the winds rush toward the center of the storm at a faster rate.
WHAT IS A BOMCYCLONE?:A winter hurricane, explained.
The wind can carry a lot of moisture and unleash copious amounts of precipitation. If the air is cold enough, severe snow and snow storms can develop, according to AccuWeather.
The storm is also likely to receive nor’easter status, characterized as a large, intense low-pressure area developing typical of the East Coast.
WHAT IS A NOR’EASTER?:Storms could lash the east coast with snow, affecting millions
The name comes from the strong northeasterly wind that accompanies the storm.
Temperatures will be cold in the storm’s aftermath, Weather.com said. The shivers in the wind will be several numbers above and below zero by Sunday in the frigid cold as it remains windy.
The last notable nor’easter to hit the northeast was in October. The storm ravaged the area with hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall, leaving more than 600,000 homes and businesses without power at one point.
Contributing: Cady Stanton, USA TODAY