USA - Winter Storm March 6-8 - Northeast

6 Mar 2018

Heavy snow, strong winds, and coastal flooding are forecast to return to the northeastern US March 6-8 as a strong nor'easter forms off the coast. Although the storm is not expected to be as strong or as slow-moving as the one that impacted the region March 2-5, it will still contribute to transport disruptions and possible power outages throughout the affected area. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued several winter storm watches for eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The NWS will likely upgrade the watches to warnings or advisories, and could issue high wind and coastal flooding alerts in the coming days. 

Precipitation will begin in Pennsylvania and Upstate New York by late March 6 and spread across the region March 7-8. Snowfall accumulations will be largely dependent on the track of the system; however, current forecast models indicate that 15-30 cm (6-12 inches) of snow is possible throughout much of the affected area. Some higher elevation areas could receive over 40 cm (16 inches) of snowfall. Rain and sleet might mix with snow along the southern periphery of the storm, which would reduce snowfall totals. 

Although the nor'easter will generate coastal flooding in low-lying areas along the northeastern coastline, only minor and localized moderate flooding is likely due to the strength of the system and low astronomical tides. Strong winds gusting to over 64 kph (40 mph) are forecast along, and just inland, from the New England coast. Blowing and drifting snow, downed trees, and power outages are likely. 

The winter weather will renew ground and air transport disruptions throughout the northeastern US March 6-8. Heavy snowfall could create hazardous driving conditions; traffic and commercial trucking delays are likely along the I-78, I-80, I-81, I-84, I-87, I-88, I-89, I-90, I-91, I-93, and I-95 corridors. Expect difficult and potentially dangerous driving conditions on secondary and rural roadways in the affected area, as maintenance crews will prioritize clearing interstates and highways. Strong winds will pose a hazard to high-profile vehicles. Authorities could close sections of roadway throughout the affected area if snowfall accumulations exceed road-clearing capabilities. Coastal flooding could also prompt authorities to close some low-lying coastal roads and bridges throughout the affected area. 

Gusty winds will contribute to flight delays and cancellations at area airports, including those serving Albany (ALB), Bangor (BGR), Boston (BOS), New York City (JFK, LGA, EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), and Providence (PVD). Rough seas and strong winds could also disrupt maritime traffic along the Atlantic coastline through March 8; inter-island ferry services could be suspended in New England. 

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