The storm is also expected to slam into the Pacific Northwest with heavy mountain snow in Washington state and Oregon.
Five years ago, New York City and the surrounding region experienced a storm of over a foot of snow. Central Park had recorded its biggest snowstorm on record with 27.5 inches in January 2016. However, that streak may soon come to an end as the New York Metro area is bracing for an even bigger storm. It isn't just New York though as much of the more densely populated areas of the Northeast region which will be expecting a heavy snow as we enter the week. Some cities are also expected to pick up more than half a season's worth of snow in 24 hours, CBS reports.
Thursday's school chances 👀— Ben Noll (@BenNollWeather) December 13, 2020
It will depend on how much snow falls Wednesday night and how early it ends on Thursday... pic.twitter.com/Jf9AlELhLb
The neighboring cities of Washington D.C, Philadelphia will share New York's fate of a major nor'easter. This is long overdue, as many of these cities saw historically low amount of snow last winter. Considering NYC in particular, there was only 4.8 inches of snow - its fourth-least snowiest season on record. The least amount of snow ever recorded in New York City came in the 1972-73 season when the city saw only 2.8 inches. On average, Central Park tallies around 25 inches of snow every year, with the snowiest season of 1995-95 delivering a massive 75.6 inches.
When checked on Sunday morning, the parent storm, which is presumed to eventually grow into the dreaded nor'easter, was still 3,000 miles away from the Northeast coastline. The storm is about to slam into the Pacific Northwest with heavy mountain snow expected in Washington state and Oregon. Right before the storm reaches the East Coast, it is speculated to traverse the entire country diving southeastward across the Rocky Mountains, dumping heavy snow in the region. On Tuesday, the storm is expected to bring a light coating of snow to the Southern Plains around Oklahoma after losing much of its moisture in the Rockies.
It won't take much to exceed last year's abysmal snow totals a long the I-95 corridor... #NextWeek— Kathryn Prociv (@KathrynProciv) December 11, 2020
2019-2020 seasonal snow totals:
Washington, DC: 0.6" (3rd least snowy winter)
Philadelphia: 0.3" (2nd least snowy)
New York: 4.8" (4th least snowy)
Boston: 15.8" (outlier last year) pic.twitter.com/HHLbAQ0vjb
On Wednesday, however, the storm will start to pick up pace again thanks to a good dose of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. With the new addition of Gulf moisture, the presently cold air sitting and waiting in Kentucky will result in snow once again with increased intensity and coverage, moving over the Appalachians. After jumping the mountains, the moisture from the close-by Atlantic Ocean will get infused into the system as heavy snow is expected to break out in northern Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania on Wednesday afternoon and reach Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City by early to mid afternoon.
Lots to see on the latest water vapor imagery:— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) December 12, 2020
1. The center of the storm system due west of British Columbia
2. The moisture plume stretching from the Gulf Of Alaska all the way down to the Central Coast.
3. A promising setup for another round of late night rain showers 😀#cawx pic.twitter.com/weOeiCnOvc
The space northwest of the I-95 corridor is expected to receive the heaviest snowfall. Meanwhile, the nation's capital with its precipitation will experience a mixed bag of snow, sleet, and rain. The same goes for Philadelphia with the regions from New York City to Boston and further northwest going through a snow storm. The heaviest snowfall rates will start late Wednesday into Thursday morning, with 2 inches per hour piling up in spots. Conditions are still subject to change between now and midweek, so it's still too early to pinpoint accurate predictions. There is however, a high chance that very heavy snowfall will pile up and dump.
Something we've had very little of last year, blocking. Greenland block and slower moving low near 50 degrees/ 50 degrees lat/long. These provide an upstream traffic jam. Should be enough to keep the storm heading more east and from overwhelming the cold pool over the Northeast. pic.twitter.com/zL1hpbcAzn— Jeff Berardelli (@WeatherProf) December 13, 2020
A major reason this system is so different from several others over the last few years is the increased availability of cold air. The storm will move in across the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and New England region. A strong-cold high-pressure system over southern Canada creates an atmospheric block that keeps the cold air here locked in place. The Department of Sanitation has issued a ‘Winter Operations Advisory,’ through which it will “coordinate with other City agencies on snow clearing protocol in accordance with each agency’s written snow plan.” The advisory further adds that “All relevant city agencies have been notified and the Department will continue to monitor forecasts as the snow event approaches.”