The Next Nor’easter

The buzz had already started online, and it has now begun to bubble into broadcast media.

Another storm is probably ahead for the Northeast.  This would be more of a classical nor’easter, bringing strong winds and heavy rain.  Impacts would be from the Carolinas to New England.

The time frame of greatest concern appears to be from Tuesday night (south) through Thursday night (north), as the storm develops in the Carolinas, edges offshore, and then moves northeastward up the coastline.

While there is a marginal consensus in the medium-range simulations that a coastal storm will take shape during that time, the details for any specific place are still difficult to determine with any skill.

ECMWF Forecast valid 7am EST, Thursday, November 8. Simulation initialized at 8am EDT, Friday, November 2. This is most aggressive of the simulations toward the East Coast. Image from the Penn State University Electronic Map Wall

Ordinarily, this type of storm gives minor amounts of overwash along the coast, but given what has happened with Sandy, this storm would be more problematic than an average nor’easter.

Having said that, it is important that everyone understand, this can not and will not be a repeat of Sandy, nor will it come close to reaching Sandy’s power.  However, the coastline is vulnerable, and places along the immediate coast which have seen the water retreat may get another brief surge of water sometime Wednesday or Thursday.  But to reiterate, the water will not reach the levels seen with Sandy.

It does look warm enough in the urban areas from Washington to Boston that any precipitation will be in the form of rain, but that is a long, long way from being certain.  The best guess, for the moment, is that air would only be cold enough to support snow much farther inland… toward Hagerstown, Harrisburg, Allentown, Scranton, northward into the Adironacks and the Berkshires.

Again, providing a precise track of the storm’s center at this time is a tremendous challenge.  Its track will determine how much rain Virginia gets, and how far westward the rain pushes away from the coast.  But, at this time, neither serious wind damage nor flooding are expected in Virginia. Areas along the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coasts of The Old Dominion, however, should continue to follow the forecast a little more than average.

There is a small chance this storm will continue into the open Atlantic once it moves out of the Carolinas, but given the current situation in the Northeast, it is best to monitor the forecast very closely over the weekend.  Monitoring the weather forecasts and how they are refined this weekend are the best courses of action at this time.

About seansublette

Meteorologist at Climate Central. Broadcast meteorologist in Virginia from 1995 to 2015. Born and raised in Richmond, VA. Penn State alumnus. Loves baseball and the rock band Rush. Views are independent of my employer. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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