Nor’Easter – March 26, 2014

The northeast corridor from Boston to Washington DC dodged a bullet with this storm – but what a “bullet” it is! The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Taunton, Massachusetts could barely contain their awe in this morning’s Area Forecast Discussion. Excerpts are below, with bold emphasis added by me:

SYNOPSIS…
A POWERFUL OCEAN STORM WILL BRING HURRICANE FORCE WINDS AND
BLIZZARD CONDITIONS THIS MORNING TO CAPE COD…MARTHAS VINEYARD
AND NANTUCKET…WITH MUCH LESS SNOW AND WIND NORTHWEST OF THE CAPE
COD CANAL….
* DAMAGING WINDS TO HURRICANE FORCE THIS MORNING CAPE COD/NANTUCKET
* BLIZZARD CONDITIONS THIS MORNING CAPE/NANTUCKET/MARTHAS VINEYARD
* SHARP CUTOFF IN SNOWFALL NORTHWEST OF CAPE COD CANAL

7 AM UPDATE…NO MAJOR CHANGES TO THE FORECAST THIS MORNING. HAVE
RECEIVED REPORTS OF 60 MPH WIND GUSTS ON NANTUCKET ALREADY THIS
MORNING. STORM CONTINUES TO DEEPEN WITH THE LATEST MESOANALYSIS
SHOWS PRESSURE FALLS OF 15MB IN THE LAST 3 HOURS. MADE MINOR
ADJUSTMENTS TO TEMPERATURES AND POPS TO ACCOUNT FOR THE LATEST
TRENDS.

SYNOPTIC OVERVIEW AND MODEL PREFERENCES…

POWERFUL OCEAN STORM SOUTH OF NEW ENGLAND EARLY THIS MORNING
 UNDERGOING BOMBOGENESIS WITH MESOANALYSIS ESTIMATING PRESSURE
FALLS ON THE ORDER OF 12 MB DURING THE PAST 3 HOURS! VERY
IMPRESSIVE ON SATELLITE IMAGERY WITH NUMEROUS LIGHTNING STRIKES
 NEAR THE CENTER OF CIRCULATION ALONG WITH A CLASSIC BAROCLINIC
LEAF STRUCTURE. ALL 00Z MODEL GUID IN GOOD AGREEMENT ON THIS
POWERFUL CYCLONE TRACKING ABOUT 140 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE 40N/70W
BENCHMARK OR 200 MILES SOUTHEAST OF NANTUCKET LATER THIS MORNING.
SOME OF THE MESOSCALE MODELS LOWER THE SURFACE PRESSURE OF THE LOW
 TO SUB 960 MB BEFORE REACHING 40N LATITUDE! EXTREMELY IMPRESSIVE
 AND PROBABLY HAVEN/T SEEN THIS FROM AN EXTRATROPICAL /NOREASTER/
 SINCE THE MARCH 93 SUPERSTORM. HOWEVER THIS STORM WILL BE TRACKING
TOO FAR OFFSHORE FOR A WIDESPREAD IMPACT. STRONG TO DAMAGING WINDS
AND HEAVY SNOW WILL BE CONFINED TO CAPE COD AND THE ISLANDS AND
THE HIGHER RES NAM DEPICTS THIS THE BEST.

Shown here is the NAM run at 00Z March 26, 2014 (8PM EDT March 25, 2014) valid for 21Z (5PM EDT) today, forecasting the low pressure center to go down to 952 millibars! An infrared satellite image from 10:45Z this morning (6:45AM EDT) is also shown.

namNE_sfc_temp_021 SAT_ATL_IR4