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BLOG: A Storm Is Approaching

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Bernadette Woods

It may not be a snowstorm on Christmas, but there is still a snowstorm coming our way this Christmas weekend.  And it’s not just going to be the snow for us, wind will also become a major issue.  A Winter Storm Warning goes into effect starting at 6 a.m. Sunday and it will continue through 6 a.m. Monday.

This is the storm that we have been tracking all week long, and now it’s heading our way – and it’s coming in a few different pieces.  One piece of energy is coming down from the north.  That one produced our flurries today.  The second piece is moving across the southeast with snow in Georgia.  That southern piece is going to head out over the water, then cut up the East Coast where it will meet up with the northern piece of energy early tomorrow.  From there, they will merge to form a much stronger storm just offshore.  The big question that we were trying to figure out all week long (and are still trying to figure out), is how far offshore that will happen. 

The worst of a storm usually happens underneath the center of it.  Last season, that center or bull’s eye was right over us.  This time, it will be offshore…but close enough that we are getting a snowstorm out of this.  The snow will start to break out overnight, but really pick up during the day tomorrow.  There is the potential for some heavier bands of accumulating snow during the day tomorrow before it starts to wind down tomorrow night.  Although there could be rounds of snow showers and flurries Sunday night and Monday, that’s when we will transition over to the second part of the storm – and that is the wind. 

When the storm really intensifies offshore, a lot of that energy gets translated into wind.  The winds will start to pick up during the day tomorrow with gusts 20-30 mph, but then they will get even stronger Sunday night into Monday.  Winds could gust over 40 mph during this time.  This will create blowing and drifting of any snow that is on the ground.  You will probably hear the word blizzard thrown around here.  Sometimes blizzards are associated with heavy snow…but the real definition means snow (of even small accumulations), combined with winds consistently over 30 mph that create very low visibility.  So if we even get some snow and then the winds really get going, we could be bordering on these conditions. 

It will be cold for the beginning of the week, but after this storm completely pulls away from New England in the middle of the week, we have a big warmup coming our way the second half of the week.  However, there’s a lot to get through before we get there, so stay tuned.

We will be here with frequent updates tonight and tomorrow, so make sure you check in with WJZ and WJZ.com for all the latest. 

And Merry Christmas to all of you out there who celebrate Christmas!  Hope you have a safe and happy holiday.

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