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Major snowstorm to slam Northeast; NYC could get a foot of snow

NE Snowstorm
Posted at 1:48 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 15:48:52-05

A major winter snowstorm will wallop parts of the Mid-Atlantic into New England on Wednesday and Thursday. New York City could get as much as a foot of snow, according to forecasts.

"Confidence is high that this winter storm will result in significant impacts, including travel disruptions and power outages across much of the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England," the Weather Prediction Center said.

The storm will begin early Wednesday in western North Carolina and by mid- to late-afternoon move into the major Northeast metro areas. Heavy snow is expected near and north of the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington to Boston.

"The models seem pretty convinced Monday morning that the temperatures just above the surface will stay below freezing," CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. "If this happens, it would certainly increase the amount of snowfall for NYC above 12 inches."

If over a foot were to fall in New York City, it would be the most snowfall the city has seen from a single storm -- or even in a month -- since the historic blizzard in January of 2016. Snowfall amounts will vary, depending on where the center of the storm tracks and where the heaviest bands of snow are located.

Early guidance suggests that if New York stays cold enough, the city will get anywhere from 8 to 14 inches of snow.

Boston is on the northern fringe of the storm and could see a more drastic change in precipitation amounts, depending on where the storm tracks. Residents could see anywhere from a few inches to over a foot of snow.

Washington is on the southern end and amounts could also vary depending on how much warmer air filters into the city, with the forecast for anywhere from a dusting to half a foot of snow.

"The gradient with this storm could be quite stark, with snow totals approaching a foot versus only a few inches separated by a county," the National Weather Service said.

If warm air mixes in, the Washington area could see sleet and freezing rain mixing in.

This same warm air will bring a wintery mix of snow and ice south through central and southwest Virginia and northwestern North Carolina.

Winter storm watches are already posted in six states - North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey -- for heavy snow and/or ice impacts. The New York and Boston National Weather Service offices will likely issue watches late Monday.

Blustery wind conditions will also be a concern, with some areas, especially along the coast, coming close to blizzard conditions. Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph are possible, with gusts as high as 45 mph at times.

Models disagree precisely on how quickly the storm will exit the region early Thursday. Still, by that afternoon, the system should be gone for most people.

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