- Reuters/Robert Frank
A cold-weather ‘bomb cyclone‘ is bearing down on the East Coast, bringing up to a foot of snow and bone-chilling temperatures across the region.
The storm is currently sitting off the coast of Florida and Georgia, and will work its way up the East Coast on Wednesday night and Thursday. New York City and Philadelphia are under a winter weather advisory starting at 1 a.m. on Thursday, while Boston is under a blizzard warning starting at the same time.
While snowfall is expected to grind traffic and air travel to a halt on Thursday, the bigger problem is the freezing temperatures set to descend on the region in the storm’s wake. The circulation associated with the massive storm will drag frigid air sitting over Canada’s Arctic south, plunging temperatures across the Northeast to below zero Farenheit.
Here’s where the storm will hit where you live, and what to expect:
As of 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, the storm was hanging out off the coasts of Florida and Georgia.
The color gradient in this map depicts the amount of precipitation, with pink being the highest and light blue the lowest. The lines on the map show the air circulation or wind. The wind’s movement corresponds to the low-pressure center of the cyclone, similar to the way a hurricane behaves.
As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, the storm is dumping snow as far south as Tallahassee, Florida, and bringing freezing temperatures and a mix of snow and freezing rain to South Carolina’s coast. Charleston, South Carolina is expected to receive up to 4 inches of snow by Wednesday night – the highest single-day snow total since 1989.
By midnight on Thursday, the storm will creep toward North Carolina’s coast and start impacting Baltimore and Washington DC
Washington DC and Baltimore, shown toward the top of the map, will be hit with minor snowfall on Wednesday night through Thursday morning. Temperatures in those cities will plummet to the single digits as the storm draws frigid polar air from the Canadian Arctic, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures in DC will fall to a low of 9 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday evening, hitting a maximum low of 6 degrees on Saturday night. Daytime temperatures are expected to climb back into the teens as long as the storm doesn’t deviate too far from its expected track.
By 8 a.m. Thursday, the storm’s center will be sitting just off the coasts of Virginia, Maryland, and southern New Jersey.
The storm will drop between 5 and 8 inches of snow in New York City and Philadelphia from Wednesday night through Thursday evening. New Jersey’s coast, however, will see significantly more snow: Up to a foot is expected in parts of New Jersey and Long Island.
If the storm veers further east, snowfall accumulation could increase in New York City and Philadelphia. In any case, neither New York nor Philadelphia will be spared from frigid conditions.
Temperatures in both cities will drop to the low single digits on Friday evening, with the coldest temperatures on Saturday night. With the windchill factored in, it’ll feel as cold as -35 on Saturday. Both New York and Philadelphia are under a winter storm warning from Thursday at 1 a.m. through Friday at 1 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.
By 4 p.m. on Thursday, the storm will be just off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, dumping up to 2 inches of snow per hour on most of Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine.
Boston is under a blizzard warning starting at 7 a.m. Thursday and continuing through 7 p.m. that evening. The city is expected to receive up to a foot of snow, which will start falling Wednesday night and get heavy on Thursday morning.
Parts of eastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod will be at risk of flooding from heavy snowfall and a tidal surge associated with the storm, according to the National Weather Service.
After the storm moves north, Boston will be hit with frigid temperatures. By Saturday night, temperatures are expected to sink to -6 Fahrenheit, before the wind chill, with wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour.
At midnight on Friday, the storm will have moved up to the Canadian Maritimes, sitting over Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
As you can see on the map, the circulation associated with the low-pressure center of the storm will drag frigid Arctic air over the Northeast. Temperatures across the region are expected to plunge into the single digits over the weekend – and below zero in some cases – with wind chills well below zero in New York and Boston.
By Sunday, temperatures are expected to creep back up to a more normal range across the region.