'Bomb Cyclone' on Course to Wallop Northeast

Winter storm could hit Friday night
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2022 5:27 PM CST
'Bomb Cyclone' on Course to Wallop Northeast
The NWS says the storm could cause "astronomically high tides."   (Getty Images/Darwin Brandis)

(Newser) – The East Coast is in store for a hefty dose of winter weather this weekend, forecasters say. The National Weather Service says it is "increasingly confident" that a major winter storm will wallop the area from the mid-Atlantic to the Northeast starting Friday, reports USA Today "Heavy snow is most likely in parts of New England, but is also possible farther south along the East Coast, including the major I-95 metro areas from New York City to Washington, DC," the NWS said Wednesday. Forecasters say the storm currently forming off the coast of Georgia is likely to meet the criteria for winter hurricane or "bomb cyclone," with pressure readings dropping at least 24 millibars in 24 hours in a process known as bombogenesis.

The storm is also expected to qualify as a "nor'easter," with strong northeast winds. CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller says the models show a "nor'easter with blockbuster potential" that will be at its strongest from Friday into Saturday. "This storm is likely to strengthen at a rate, and to an intensity, equivalent to only the most powerful hurricanes, so the high-end potential of this storm cannot be overstated," Miller says. An NWS bulletin issued Wednesday afternoon warned that there could be up to 16 inches of snow in parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and winds of more than 60mph in Cape Cod.

The weather service's Boston office also warned that coastal flooding "is a concern thanks to astronomically high tides on Saturday." The office says the exact track of the storm is still uncertain. Axios notes that computer modeling systems differ on how far west heavy snow will reach. The American GFS model predicts that the heaviest snow and blizzard conditions will be confined to eastern New England, while the European model shows heavy snow falling from New Jersey to Maine, with 1 to 2 feet of snow reaching cities including New York City and Boston. (Read more winter weather stories.)

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