Nor'easter Incoming: Relax, You'll Survive.

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Is it bad that it's not even Winter yet and I'm already tired of talking about these storms? Unfortunately, it looks to be a very active season so chances are you'll be reading A LOT of these blogs straight through March. I'm a fan of storms, I think any weather geek is, but I'd like a little break in between, wouldn't you?

So yes, we DO have another nor'easter coming. It will technically be our first "winter storm" of the season since it's poised to bring some wintry precip our way by tomorrow morning. Calm down. Take a chill pill. It's not going to be an all-out snowstorm for our region. If you've been led to believe that for some reason looking at social media posts, get that out of your head right now! 

Here's a map that was shared around Facebook a lot yesterday: 

Looks scary, doesn't it? Well, in MANY cases, what the author of the post doesn't tell you is that this model (which overdoes precipitation... by... like... A LOT) is basing that snowfall total on a true 10:1 ratio. In these parts, that's hard enough to get during the heart of the Winter season let alone in mid-November. Take what you see here and automatically cut it in half. Now cut that in half again and you end up with a reasonable guestimate. A 10:1 ratio only occurs if the ground is cold, the dew points are low enough and the temperatures are cold enough. The colder we are, the more air is in each snowflake. The warmer, the opposite is true. With this upcoming event we can expect WET snow and sleet that won't accumulate or amount to much. Most extreme case scenario I see? A slushy coating to an inch. Here's MY forecast map that I issued last night:


Big difference ;)

Alright, so now that that's out of the way, what CAN we expect? Let's break it down bit by bit and get you prepped. 

Timing:

The onset will be sometime in the late morning or early afternoon on Thursday. The storm will begin ramping up later in the day with the heaviest precip shutting off sometime around midnight. Wouldn't be surprised to see some "dry-slotting" by the nighttime hours as we are dealing with a double barrel (two areas of low pressure) scenario. In that circumstance one of the lows is starved and drier air is able to move in. 

Wintry Precip:

SOME possible. Especially at the very start and especially in places like Salem, Gloucester and Camden counties. A few wet snowflakes possible for the rest of us, but will in no way, shape or form amount to anything. Even in areas that have the potential to see "a little more" will only end up with a slushy coating to an inch at best. The accumulating snow will be WELL to our North and west. 

Rain:

Another 1-2" + possible. We are already 11" above average for the fall season, this will only add insult to injury. Heaviest looks to fall mid-afternoon into the evening. Flash flooding as a result of poor drainage is certainly possible. 

Winds: 

Out of the northeast. They look to start picking up by around midnight tonight, worst will be tomorrow night. Sustained 15-25mph with gusts to 40mph on the mainland, 50mph+ along the coast. They will shift out of the northwest by early Friday morning. Gale Warnings, perhaps high wind warnings, will likely go into effect.

Flooding:

We've got potential for BOTH types (Flash and Tidal). The only thing working in our favor to hold back higher end (Tidal) flooding is the fact that the moon will have little to no impact on tide heights. We don't have a new moon or full moon so that's great... but that doesn't mean the drop in pressure + 24 hour on-shore flow + Heavy rain can't create minor to low end moderate flooding on their own. I'm expecting at least minor. 1 to 1.5' of water in the streets possible? Move your cars. Flash flooding really depends on where the heaviest bands of rain set up and if they "train", or move over the same location over and over. Poor drainage is an issue in places like Ocean City. Be on the lookout! High tide to really watch is LATE Thursday night as some "stacking" of the back bays will help the water levels be on the higher side. The event would likely start around midnight. 

Best chance of flooding is throughout Cape May County... and NO, it won't be like the October 27th, event...

I think that pretty much sums it all up. A 3 out of 5 event in terms of intensity and impact. Stay tuned for more updates!