The potential for a major snowfall looks to be more certain for the period from Friday morning through Saturday morning across the entire Capital Region and vicinity. This has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Warning for the area.
The Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 6AM EST Friday morning through Noon EST Saturday.
Two distinct areas of low pressure, one over the Corn Belt, and another over the Georgia coast will converge upon the Delmarva Peninsula through Friday morning, where they will consolidate, or phase into one very powerful system. Abundant Atlantic moisture will be funneled north and northwest around the circulation center of the low pressure area, into New York and New England during the day on Friday.
Snow is forecast to begin in the Capital Region well after the midnight hour tonight. The commute on Friday morning may be hampered by a steady light snow that is expected to increase in intensity through the day. Snowfall rates may reach 1 to 3 inches per hour at times during the afternoon and evening hours on Friday.
The low pressure area is then forecast to move northeast, to be just south and east of Cape Cod by Saturday morning, and east of the Gulf of Maine by Saturday evening.
With this forecast track, the Capital Region looks to run the risk of seeing a total storm accumulation between 10 and 16 inches. Locally higher amounts will be possible. The bulk of the snow looks to fall during the Friday afternoon and evening time frame, with a slow decrease in coverage and intensity of the snowfall occurring late Friday night and into Saturday morning, as the storm pulls away from the area.
Those with travel plans on Friday are encouraged to stay tuned for later updates on this storm. Travel will become difficult, to nearly impossible, tomorrow afternoon and evening. This owing to the combination of periodic heavy snow, and a modest east to northeast wind of 10 to 15 miles per hour which may cause additional visibility reduction. Those who must travel tomorrow should remember to use extreme caution, and to stock vehicles with appropriate supplies that may be needed in the event that they become stuck or stranded in the storm. Suggested items for a winter driving safety kit include, but are not limited to, candles, shovels, tire chains, and non-perishable food and drink items.