A historic blizzard is coming together off the Northeast coast as energy from strong storm systems riding the northern and southern streams merge offshore. This is expected to deliver a widespread area of 1 to 3 feet of snow on New England, including the Boston area, with near-hurricane force winds and coastal storm surge. Linked here is a running list of snow totals (ours from last night are listed), wind speeds and other data from the storm, provided by the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Websites of the Boston Herald and Boston.com provide an inside-the-storm view of events as they unfold tonight. And there’s always NOAA satellite photos and our own Radar / Futurecast (you can widen the view and drag the map to the Northeast) to look at images of the storm as it continues to intensify and move toward the coast.
For Southwest Virginia, the major ongoing effect from the New England blizzard will be gusty winds, topping 40, even 50 mph at times. Wind advisories are out for all of western Virginia, with high wind warnings for Carroll and Grayson counties, where some 60 mph gusts may occur in the higher terrain. Travelers on Interstate 77 through Fancy Gap should particularly take note.
Other than the wind, the weekend will be fairly typical for February, even a bit milder than normal, with highs in the 40s to low 50s, lows in the 20s to low 30s. Rain begins to move in Sunday night into Monday. At this time, it appears very likely to be well above freezing when it rains, perhaps scraping 60 on Monday. With the core low-pressure system near the western Great Lakes, it would be very unlikely that any air cold enough for freezing or frozen precipitation could be present when the moisture moves in.
Storm systems in the Wednesday-Thursday time-frame and again about the following Sunday-Monday are worth paying attention to for winter storm potential in or near our region. We’ll leave that there, for now.