A major winter storm with the potential for hurricane-force winds and heavy snow is threatening to slam the Northeast this weekend. The quickly-intensifying winter storm could develop into a nor’easter, and possibly a bomb cyclone, as it travels along the coast in the coming days, according to AccuWeather.
“Confidence is increasing that a significant winter storm will create considerable impacts Friday through the weekend from the Mid-Atlantic through the Northeast,” the National Weather Service said Wednesday.
The heaviest snow is anticipated to hit New England, although snowfall is also possible in metro areas further south, including New York City and Washington, D.C., the weather agency said. Coastal northeastern cities could also be in for strong hurricane-force wind gusts between 40 to 60 miles per hour in the coming days, according to Accuweather.
In eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, up to 16 inches of snow could accumulate from a bomb cyclone — which occurs when a cyclone rapidly intensifies and strengthens due to the central pressure decreasing by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. In Vermont and northern New York, wind chills could reach -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Southeast Connecticut could see six or more inches of snowfall.
But with the storm still two days away, its track and total snow amounts in certain areas are still uncertain, which the National Weather Service says is unusual.
“This is a low confidence forecast at this time,” the agency said Wednesday. “Significant changes are possible.”
The NWS urged those in the storm’s potential path to monitor the winter storm’s forecast updates, to be ready for potential scattered power outages, to purchase snow shovels and to fill up car gas tanks ahead of time.