Travel Alert: Blizzard Conditions, Severe Thunderstorms and High Winds Threaten East this Weekend

Those of you with travel plans this upcoming weekend need to pay close attention to the forecast across the eastern United States. Several disturbances in the jet stream are forecast to merge (phase) together across the Midwest producing a potential blizzard with heavy rain, high winds and even some tornadoes along the eastern side of the storm’s track. Snow could even accumulate across portions of the Mid South and southern Appalachians.

If the current track of this system verifies, the big cities from DC to Boston would receive very heavy rain and high winds. Severe thunderstorms may also pose a threat of tornadoes in some areas (to be determined).

The image below (courtesy Pivotal Weather) shows the latest European Forecast model of how this storm could pan out:

Take a closer look at the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, with shades of blue representing snow. Also note how tightly packed the black lines are surround the area of low pressure. Those are isobars (lines of equal pressure) and the closer those lines are the higher the winds will be. With such a tightly wound storm system, parts of the Midwest could wind up with snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour with winds of 35 to 40 mph gusting over 60 mph!

The latest European Forecast Model for potential Snowfall Accumulation

If this storm system pans out (and I trust the European Model more than the American made models) portions of KY, OH, IN and southern MI would be digging out from well over a foot of snow.  Interstate travel would be shut down and flights would be cancelled all across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.  The storm is forecast to begin intensifying on Sunday afternoon, continuing through the day on Monday. There will certainly be a lot of changes to the forecast between now and then as more details become available.

First Accumulating Snowfall for Washington Area in early December?

The fun and games continues further east of the mountains the first weekend in December as a second piece of energy ejects out of the base of a trough and may track along the east coast… stay tuned!