By Brian Lada – AccuWeather
A major winter storm will unfold across the Northeast early this week, eventually becoming an all-out blizzard over parts of New England and the New York City area.
Those in the Northeast should prepare for the storm now rather than wait until the snow starts to fall, especially for those across eastern New England.
“While the storm from Saturday may have been a mere nuisance to travelers and a delight to skiers, the storm Monday night into Tuesday could be far more disruptive in terms of travel and daily activities,” said AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
The greatest impacts are expected along the Interstate-95 corridor from Philadelphia northward where over a foot of snow is forecast to fall. The blizzard also threatens to bring the heavily populated zone from New York City to Boston to Portland, Maine, to a standstill.
Before intensifying into a major winter storm, this system will spread disruptive snow across the lower Midwest and into the mid-Atlantic through Sunday evening.
Travel disruptions due to the snow should be anticipated as early as the Monday morning commute around Philadelphia and New York City, but the worse will come Monday night through Tuesday.
The snow is expected to expand and intensify across New England throughout Monday and Monday night, pushing into Canada during the day on Tuesday.
“The worst conditions in eastern New England can be expected late Monday night through Tuesday morning,” said AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Ben Noll.
Noll continued by saying that blizzard conditions will occur during this time.
Fortunately for those planning to attend the send-off rally for the New England Patriots on Monday in Boston, the blizzard should hold off until after the rally comes to an end.
This could turn out to be the biggest storm of the winter for many areas in the Northeast.
Over a foot of snow is forecast to fall in New York City and Albany, New York; Hartford, New Haven and Stamford, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Worcester, Springfield and New Bedford, Massachusetts; Manchester, Concord and Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and Portland, Augusta and Bangor, Maine.
There is the potential for some areas in Long Island and New England to receive over 2 feet of snow before the storm’s departure.
Blizzard conditions are expected to develop for a time in New York City, Long Island and over New England on Monday night and through Tuesday as heavy snow greatly reduces visibility and winds howl past 35 mph. Wind gusts on Cape Cod can occasionally gust up to 70 mph during the worst of the storm.
These strong winds blowing off the ocean can cause coastal flooding with the worst flooding occurring from late on Monday night into Tuesday evening.
“How quickly the storm ramps up will determine the western extent of snow, strength of the wind and blowing and drifting snow,” said Sosnowski.
Residents across the region who rely on snow blowers for snow removal should make sure that they are ready to move the plethora of snow that this powerful storm drops.
People using shovels to clear the snow should take their time and take frequent breaks while shoveling to reduce the risk of heart-related injuries and fatalities.
Impacts from the powerful storm will be felt all across the Northeast and into portions of Canada, but the worst of the storm is expected to focus on eastern New England.
Travel conditions will quickly deteriorate across the area as the heavy snow moves in, making travel near impossible for a time.
During the peak of the storm, travel may turn into a standstill as officials may be forced to close roads and flight cancellations mount at the airport. Travelers are strongly urged to consider altering plans ahead of the storm.
If you must drive during the storm, you should take supplies with you, such as water, food and blankets, in the event that you become stuck on the road in the snow.
Travel delays associated with this storm will not be limited to the Northeast.
Ripple-effect delays are possible elsewhere in the nation if airplanes and crews are displaced due to the storm.
Even after the worst of the storm has passed, roadways may still be difficult to navigate as it can take crews days to clear some roads of snow.
Power outages can also occur due to the strong winds and heavy snow expected closer to the coast.
Snow-covered roads can make power outages last for long periods of time as it will take utility vehicles longer to reach the source of the outage and correct the problem.
Conditions will improve by Wednesday, allowing crews to begin the clean-up process in the wake of the storm.
Snow-free conditions should not be expected to last for too long; however, as a quick-moving clipper could deliver some fresh powder to the Northeast as early as Thursday.