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Dangerous nor'easter targets East Coast with snow, rain, wind

Posted by On March 02, 2018

Dangerous nor'easter targets East Coast with snow, rain, wind


The storm could bring six inches of snow to parts of Massachusetts

Last Updated Mar 1, 2018 2:34 PM EST

BOSTON -- A powerful, windswept nor'easter is headed to the Northeast to kick off the volatile month of March. Damaging winds, moderate to major coastal flooding, rain and snowfall are in the mix, CBS Boston reports.

Emergency management officials across the East Coast are preparing. Heavy rain, intermittent snow and high winds with gusts exceeding 50 miles per hour are expected as the storm moves up the Eastern seaboard.

For the first time since a blizzard hit the region in early January, New England will see "bombogenesis" -- signifying an intense and rapidly deepening storm.

  • What causes bombogenesis?

In Pennsylvania, heavy rain, high wind and even some whiteout snow conditions are expected in the coming days. The National Weather Service says communities from Pittsburgh east to Philadelphia and the Poconos will be affected.

High winds and flood watches have been issued around New Jersey.

Here's how the storm looks as of Thursday afternoon.


In Connecticut and New York City, rain is expected to begin on Thursday evening. Moderate coastal flooding in Queens and Long island is expected Friday.

The National Weather Service said all of Rhode Island will be under flood and high wind watches from Friday to Sunday morning, calling the situations "life threatening."

The U.S. Coast Guard is advising boaters to exercise "vigilance and extreme caution" Thursday night through Saturday. Authorities recommend residents of coastal communities be prepared to evacuate if n ecessary in advance of Friday morning's high tide.

High winds and flood watches have been issued around New Jersey, where most rains will begin Thursday afternoon, getting heavier in the evening. The storm will then usher in a wet and windy Friday, with gusts of up to 60 mph in Jersey Shore communities. Warning signs are posted at Wildwood beaches and some residents are already boarding up their homes there.

Power outages are also a concern for coastal areas. The National Weather Service says flooding is possible Saturday. Waves of up to 12 feet are in the forecast at the shore in New Jersey. Officials say Thursday's dry morning and afternoon hours are a good time for folks to get supplies and batten down the hatches.

In Pennsylvania, rain will start Thursday afternoon in most places and is expected to get heavier overnight. On Friday afternoon, the storm will usher in high winds, with gusts of up to 60 mph near Lancaster, and up to 50 mph in suburban P hiladelphia and Allentown. Rain could turn to snow in parts of the Lehigh Valley and the Poconos, causing whiteout conditions with the high winds.

Pittsburgh is also under a flood advisory, and the same storm is expected to bring heavy rain and high winds to a swath of western Pennsylvania from Thursday and into the weekend.

The storm has the potential to produce a drenching, flooding rainfall for a good portion of southern New England, where late Friday morning through Friday evening, the rain will come down in torrents. A widespread 1-3 inches of rain is likely in many areas, causing severe street flooding. Some rivers may also approach or crest over their banks on Friday and in the days following.


Snowfall is the biggest wildcard in the storm for some areas. In at least parts of New England, the first half of the storm will almost certainly be rain, followed by colder air Friday evening and overnight, changing the rain to a heavy, wet snow.

In Massachusetts, snowfall in the hills of Worcester and in the Berkshires could easily top 6 inches before tapering off Saturday morning. Several inches are possible in the eastern part of the state Friday night. With the heavy, wet nature of the snow combined with strong winds, power outages may become a big issue.


The storm will become an absolute monster southeast of Nantucket on Friday and only slowly pull away farther to the southeast on Saturday. There will be a large and powerful wind field, extending out several hundred miles from the storm's center.

Cape Cod and the Islands, as well as Cape Ann, are at greatest risk for widespread, damaging winds, ranging as high as 55-80 mph Friday and Saturday. The rest of eastern Massachusetts will see winds gusting 35-55 mph, enough to cause tree and property damage and cause some power outages.

Ahead of the storm, many airlines have issued travel waivers to allow passengers to change their f lights without penalty, CBS News' Kris Van Cleave reports.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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