Biggest Snowstorm in 15 Years? What may turn out to be the most widespread (and debilitating) blizzard since 1996 is winding up off the Virginia coast, a classic nor'easter, tapping Atlantic moisture - plenty of cold air in place to insure all snow from D.C. to Philadelphia, New York, Providence, Hartford and Boston. Models print out close to 2 FEET of snow from New York to Boston. Factoring in 30-40 mph I could see some 5-6 foot drifts for much of New England before the storm winds down late Monday. The live webcam above courtesy of WABC-TV in New York City.
Airborne Gridlock. If you're trying to get east - think again. I don't see conditions improving much until Monday night and Tuesday. Flightstats.com has a great web site where you can get specifics about each airport. All those red dots are displaying excessive delays. (significant delays at MSP, due to a domino effect of delays and cancellations out east).
"Bombo-genesis". The latest GREarth surface map shows a rapidly intensifying storm east of Norfolk, VA, what meteorologists call a "bomb", short for "bombogenesis" - meaning the barometer is falling like a rock, suggesting explosive growth. Gulf stream water temperatures 200 miles east of the coast are still in the 60s - this huge, 40-50 degree east-west temperature contrast will whip up a very impressive nor'easter, conditions getting worse as the day goes on, visibilities falling to near zero from Philly to New York (to Boston by evening).
* Why was the Vikes-Eagles game postponed? My hunch (and that's all it is, a gut feel) is that it had less to do with weather conditions and more to do with lawyers and liability. If the NFL keeps the game in place and people drive to Lincoln Field and wind up getting into traffic accidents, in theory, the NFL could be somehow liable. I don't pretend to understand all the legal vagaries, but there's enough risk with the pending blizzard to err on the side of caution.
50-70 Million Americans Under Blizzard Warnings. From New Jersey to coastal Maine, NOAA has placed a huge swatch of the coastal northeast under a blizzard warning. I can't remember the last time so many people were threatened by blizzard conditions (sustained winds of 35 mph + falling/blowing snow + visibilities under 1/4 mile). To see the latest warnings on a clickable map - you can drill down and get local current conditions or forecasts for any point on the map - click here.
Warm Enough For Rain. It seems odd, after the cold, snowy (harsh!) December we've just muddled through, but the January Thaw is coming early this year, the lowest mile of the atmosphere probably warm enough for mostly-rain Thursday and much of Friday. Although some icing is possible, especially bridges and secondary roads - I think we'll be close enough to 32 F for MOST roads to be wet Thursday and Friday (up until the dinner hour). Between 4 pm and 10 pm New Year's Eve (Friday) temperatures may drop 10-15 degrees - I'm concerned that wet roads may freeze up Friday night as temperatures plummet. I'll be watching this as the week goes on - no question the first day of 2011 is going to be NUMBING - but it won't stay bitter for too long.