Third Coastal Storm in 10 Days Could Affect the East Coast Early Next Week

Chris Dolce
Published: March 8, 2018

March is off to a roaring start for the East Coast with two strong coastal storms in five days and another potential one looming for early next week.

First was Winter Storm Riley, which brought destructive winds, heavy snow and severe coastal flooding to the Northeast late last week. Now Winter Storm Quinn will continue to dump heavy snow on the Northeast Thursday.

(MORE: Winter Storm Central)

After Quinn departs Thursday night, we'll turn our attention to the next potential East Coast storm candidate.

To be clear, the impacts, if any, from this potential storm early next week are unknown at this time.

Specifics on the forecast will hinge on how the upper-level weather pattern evolves this weekend. Specifically, the evolution of energy in the upper atmosphere that is currently thousands of miles away from the eastern United States over far western Canada.

That energy will first bring snow to the Mountain West as it slides east on Friday, including the Cascades and the northern Rockies.

Upper-level energy from the northern Pacific Ocean will spread across the eastern states by late weekend or early next week, potentially aiding in the development of low pressure.

Thereafter, the energy will spread into the eastern states this weekend, and, once again, low pressure could strengthen near or off the East Coast early next week.

Some cold air should still be in place, partially due to the fresh snowpack from both Riley and Quinn.

Depending on its location, strength and track, the low-pressure system could be yet another coastal storm for parts of the Eastern Seaboard.

An area of low pressure is likely to develop off the East Coast early next week, but it's strength and location are uncertain.

The setup is uncertain, so we do not know for sure whether there will be another round of snow, rain, coastal flooding and strong winds early next week in portions of the East.

In general, a low tracking slower and closer to the East Coast would increase the odds of significant impacts. Conversely, if the low remains weak and moves progressively out to sea, that would prevent any harsh weather from occurring early next week.

Neither of those scenarios or something in between can be ruled out just yet. In fact, model guidance Thursday afternoon widened the spectrum of possibilities from a coastal storm to a distance miss. 

Computer model guidance on Thursday afternoon. More rings, or isobars, around an X means a stronger storm and less rings means a weaker storm. The European model (red) was much weaker and much farther out to sea than the GFS (cyan) on Monday, but we still need to keep an eye on this. Some versions of the euro (yellow) keep this closer to shore but are still generally weaker.

We'll track the latest forecast model guidance trends the next few days and will provide updates on weather.com.

(MAPS: 7-Day Outlook)


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