NBM snowfall by Sunday afternoon. Credit: WeatherBell
A powerful, classic Nor’easter storm will bring intense precipitation to the Northeast US this weekend, dropping up to 30 inches of snow or more. Once the storm is over on Sunday afternoon, ski conditions will be excellent, especially at resorts closer to the coast.
The first precipitation will begin to make its way into the region on Friday evening and will increase throughout the early hours of Saturday morning. This first phase of the storm will keep the heaviest precipitation relegated along the seaboard in New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and southeastern Massachusetts. The American model keeps things a bit further south, but the European and Canadian models allow more precipitation to trickle north into New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont. If I had to say, the more northern outcome is what I see as the more likely possibility.
Here’s how things are looking by Saturday morning at 7 am local time from the European (left) and American (right) models. This storm is coming in fairly cold, so multiply these numbers by roughly 15 to get approximate snowfall:
Throughout the day on Saturday, the storm shifts northeast. With warm, moist air being pulled up and around the low pressure, this focuses the precipitation bullseye further north. Coastal Maine and Massachusetts look to be the winners on Saturday, but interior Maine and Vermont will still pick up several inches of snow; don’t count out resorts in these regions for superb conditions after the weekend. There is fairly good agreement between the American and European models as to where they place the heaviest precipitation will end up between Saturday morning and evening:
By Saturday evening, the heaviest precipitation will have tapered off. Sunday will see lingering precipitation in northeastern Maine but drier conditions for the rest of the northeast.
The highest precipitation totals will almost certainly end up in southeastern Massachusetts, where it looks like maximum totals of 2-2.5″ of water are quite likely. In general, most coastal areas in the region should clock at least 0.5-1″ and interior regions such as Vermont and interior Maine looking at 0.25-0.5″. Below is a look at a downscaled precipitation forecast at 0.8km resolution. This highlights the nuances of the terrain and gives us a pretty good idea of where the most precipitation will fall. Notice the higher values in New Hamshire near Mt. Washington, too. Don’t count out excellent conditions in that region!
With such a dynamic storm, it’s a bit hard to pin down snow-to-liquid ratios, but it looks like SLRs should be between 12 and 15 for most of these regions, meaning up to 3 feet of snow is not out of the question. However, most resorts in the region are not near the coast where these precipitation maximums are located, so most resorts should see between 6 and 20″ of snow.