Eastern Massachusetts, including Boston, and Rhode Island could see between 12 to 24 inches of snow combined with wind gusts up to 64 mph, according to multiple forecast models.
Mix of snow, wind and coastal flooding to slam Northeast
The storm is expected to unleash a double-whammy of heavy snowfall and strong winds throughout parts of the Northeast, but exactly which parts of the region remain in question.
“This storm is likely to strengthen at a rate, and to an intensity, equivalent to only the most powerful hurricanes, so the high-end potential of this storm cannot be overstated,” CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. “But with nor’easters, like in real estate, it will all come down to location, location, location.”
Portions of northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia could see up to 3 inches of snow, with winds as high as 35 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Pus, coastal flooding as well as extremely cold temperatures are a possibility, the Weather Prediction Center warned.
The stronger the storm, the greater the surge of water along the coast will be.
“Coastal flooding is a concern thanks to astronomically high tides on Saturday,” NWS Boston said. “The combination of strong northeast winds and high seas will bring storm surges that, if coinciding with high tide, would lead to minor or moderate coastal flooding.”
The difference in storm timing — even as few as six hours — would make a massive difference in impact on coastal flooding and erosion concerns.
New York City forecast remains uncertain
A European forecast model shows New York City on the edge of the snow-or-no-snow divide, but it still predicts a heaping pile of snow. The American model shows nearly nothing for the city. A third model indicates a foot or more of snow.
And direction is playing a vital role in this storm’s projection, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers pointed out.
“It’s like a bowling ball going right down the middle or slightly off-center. You can get a 7-10 split or a strike with only an inch difference,” Myers said. “I think the models will come together as we get closer to the event.”
CNN’s Judson Jones and Robert Shackelford contributed to this report.