A winter storm pummeled the Northeast on Thursday morning along the heavily populated corridor running from Boston to Washington. While no major highways have been closed so far, the governors of several Northeastern states, including New York and Connecticut, are urging motorists to stay off the roads for safety’s sake and to enable snow removal.
Winter storm warnings have been issued for an area that stretches from coastal Maine down through the rest of New England and southeastern New York State, then into New Jersey, eastern and central Pennsylvania, and parts of northern Delaware, northern Maryland and northern West Virginia.
While blizzard warnings are up for Cape Cod and on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts as well as for eastern and central Long Island in New York State, some local TV meteorologists, including WTNH in New Haven, Conn. are pointing out that "blizzard conditions" may occur locally this afternoon.
That's because, per a Weather.com post, Niko may turn into a "weather bomb" — a powerful low-pressure weather system that intensifies rapidly. To "bomb out," the central pressure of a low-pressure system must drop at least 24 millibars within 24 hours. When that happens, winds increase dramatically and blizzard conditions can result, sometimes accompanied by lightning. As it happens, "thundersnow" has already been reported in Hartford, Conn. and cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in both Connecticut and New York’s Hudson Valley.
Snow accumulations are being predicted in a range from at least 1 foot in much of southern New England and Long Island to between 6 inches and 1 foot in parts of Pennsylvania, much of New Jersey and New York City. Snowfall is expected to be much lighter in the southern Mid-Atlantic region, including the metro Baltimore and Washington areas.