Snowmaker to Spread Through the Appalachians and Then Become Another Northeast Coastal Storm

March 11, 2018

A new coastal storm will develop off the Eastern Seaboard to begin this week, likely spreading the third round of accumulating snow and wind across portions of the Northeast in a span of fewer than two weeks. This weather system will also deliver a blanket of snow from the Ohio Valley into the Appalachians.

(MORE: Winter Storm Central)

Over the last several days there has been uncertainty surrounding the track of this expected storm, but forecast model guidance has now come into somewhat better agreement. In short, the path of the low-pressure system is likely to be far enough west to bring at least some snow and wind to parts of the Northeast, particularly eastern New England.

There is still some lingering uncertainty that could increase or decrease the snow and wind impacts from this storm system, so check back for updates.

(MORE: Why Forecasting Northeast Snowstorms Can Be a Challenge)

Here's everything we know right now.

Happening Now and Winter Alerts

This weather system is currently spreading light snow through parts of the Midwest. That snow will pivot eastward into parts of the Ohio Valley and Appalachians late Sunday into early Monday.

Current Radar and Weather Conditions

Winter storm warnings are in effect for portions of the central and southern Appalachians, including Roanoke, Virginia. Winter weather advisories extend into Kentucky, far southern Illinois and extreme southeast Missouri.

In the Northeast, winter storm watches have been hoisted by the National Weather Service in eastern New England for Monday night through Tuesday, including Boston, Providence, Rhode Island, and Portland, Maine.

Current winter watches, warnings and advisories

Storm Timing

Sunday Night-Monday

  • Areas from Kentucky and Tennessee into Virginia, western/northern North Carolina and West Virginia will see some intensifying snow or a mix of rain and snow.
  • Heavy snow is expected in the Appalachians, including around Roanoke, Virginia.
  • A rain/snow mix could extend as far east as central Virginia and as far south as northern Alabama, the north Georgia mountains and the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina.

Monday's Forecast

Monday Night

  • The storm system will be intensifying off the East Coast.
  • At least light snow and gusty winds may brush the coast from the mid-Atlantic northward to the New York City metro. Parts of the immediate coast may see a rain/snow mixture.
  • Snow and wind will also begin to arrive in parts of New England.

Monday Night's Forecast

Tuesday-Tuesday Night

  • The highest chance for moderate to locally heavy snow will be found in parts of eastern New England.
  • Snow may linger through the first half of Tuesday as far south as the New York City metro and Long Island.
  • Snow showers may also dust parts of the interior Northeast and Great Lakes behind the storm system.
  • By Tuesday night, the heaviest snow will likely be in northern New England, particularly Maine.
  • Snow showers may linger through the interior Northeast and Appalachians into Wednesday.

Tuesday's Forecast

Snowfall Forecast


  • At this time, the best chance for at least six inches of snow is in parts of eastern New England, from Maine southward into Massachusetts. Up to a foot of snow is not out of the question in parts of New Hampshire and Maine.
  • Lighter amounts of snow, generally less than 6 inches, are forecast farther south, including around New York City.
  • As mentioned before, snowfall amounts will depend on the track of the storm which is still somewhat uncertain. Therefore, the forecast totals could decrease or increase compared to what is currently depicted.
  • In coastal areas, temperatures may be marginal for accumulating snow (particularly during the daytime hours), which could cut down on amounts in some areas.

Ohio Valley/Appalachians

  • Higher elevations in western Virginia and eastern West Virginia will see at least 6 inches of snow.
  • A dusting to a few inches is expected in most other areas from Kentucky and northern Tennessee to central Virginia and northern North Carolina.

Snowfall Forecast Through Tuesday

Wind and Coastal Flooding Impacts

  • Gusty winds in eastern New England could contribute to some localized tree damage or power outages. We do not expect to see the widespread power outages that were experienced during Winter Storms Riley and Quinn.
  • Astronomical tides are low, so that should help reduce the threat of coastal flooding. Based on the current forecast track of the storm, some minor to locally moderate coastal flooding could occur in the Northeast.

This storm would be the third nor'easter to affect the East Coast in a period of two weeks.

Winter Storm Riley began March with destructive winds, heavy snow and severe coastal flooding in the Northeast. Last week, Winter Storm Quinn dumped heavy snow that led to additional downed trees and power outages.

The storm also coincides with the anniversary of the March 1993 Superstorm, which occurred 25 years ago.

(MORE: Superstorm 1993: 25 Years Ago This Week)

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