A storm is expected to bring more than six inches of snow from Virginia to New England on Wednesday, with the potential to cause widespread power loss and hamper travel across a large section of the country, according to the National Weather Service.
Some parts of northwestern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania could get more than a foot of snow, said forecasters, who issued a winter storm watch for parts of both states, including Philadelphia, and for New Castle County in Delaware.
Forecasters said that snowfall predictions might change depending on the path of the storm, which was expected to become a nor’easter and be fed with colder air from a high-pressure system.
The expected arrival of the season’s first significant snowstorm along the Eastern Seaboard comes as the country is in the grips of another wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The storm forecast stood in stark contrast to the unseasonably warm weather on Sunday across much of the Northeast, with temperatures reaching into the 60s in many areas and setting some records.
“Heavy snow is expected west and north of the I-95 corridor,” the National Weather Service said on Sunday.
The Weather Service cautioned that the storm could create hazards in the Mid-Atlantic States.
“There is a growing concern for freezing rain and ice accumulations across parts of northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia,” it said.
In a prelude to the predicted storm, a weaker weather system is expected to bring a mix of rain and snow to the New York metropolitan area on Monday. Accumulations are not expected to exceed two inches, but the Weather Service said higher elevations might get more snow.
“Open Restaurants should take steps to protect patrons/staff/property,” the department said on Twitter. “We may spread salt/brine on the roadway to prevent freezing.”
The department also said that it was introducing new designations for frozen precipitation starting this month; it will issue a winter weather advisory when less than an inch of precipitation is predicted, and a snow alert when accumulations are expected to exceed an inch.
“Our salt spreaders will be out and start spreading by first flake,” the department said. “Plows work at 2+ inches.”