October 23, 2020

Potential nor'easter aims for East Coast for Groundhog Day weekend

After a relatively quiet weather week in the East, meteorologists are monitoring a storm system that may impact the Atlantic Coast in time for Groundhog Day weekend.This storm is expected to gather in the Gulf on Friday, before heading northeastward.”The track of the storm is highly prone to shifting in the coming days, and the exact track of the storm will be a huge factor in how intense the storm will be for a given location,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPWith several different possible scenarios throughout the weekend still likely, many residents along the Eastern Seaboard will be left on alert for flooding rain, coastal flooding, snow and gusty winds.At this time, areas from the Georgia to Maine along the coast, and as far inland as the Great Lakes could be impacted by the storm.One possible scenario is that the center of the storm could remain over land through the Southeast, and continue along the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts through the weekend. With this storm track, most of the cold air, and thus any snow potential, is likely to stay across the interior locations from the Ohio Valley to the St. Lawrence River Valley.Warm air from over the Atlantic Ocean will be pulled in on the southern side of the storm, will likely produce precipitation to fall as rain from the Carolinas through the I-95 corridor in the Northeast.The excessive moisture coming off the ocean will increase the chances for heavy downpours and raise the risk for flooding.This is especially true for communities hit by rounds of heavy rain and flooding already this year.Meanwhile, a second scenario is also in play, where the storm gathering in the Gulf of Mexico takes a more easterly track and stays well, or just barely offshore.”This scenario may end up being more of a close call for coastal cities, as it could stay far enough off the coast to avoid much of the mid-Atlantic,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister.Should the storm stay very far offshore, it is possible only right along the Southeast coast may see some precipitation from the storm.However, if the low stays nearer to the coast, precipitation may reach as far inland is the I-95 corridor. This region, being on the northern side of the storm, could experience rain mixing with or changing to snow. A strong coastal storm will mean beaches from North Carolina to Maine should be prepared for impacts similar to a nor’easter.Gusty winds, coastal flooding, beach erosion and rough seas could all be possible in such a scenario.Additionally, if the potent storm remains farther east, the door will be open for a weaker storm to press into the interior Northeast late in the weekend.”There could be lighter snow showers across Michigan, Ontario and interior parts of the Northeast with the late, weaker, storm,” added Leister.Following the weekend, the weather pattern looks to remain active for the first full week of February, leaving the possibility for more stormy weather in the East.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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