Do you want to build a snowman? Hunker down because some who live in the path of the impending March nor’easter named Stella could see up to two feet of snow, and substantial amounts have been predicted along the East Coast from New England through the Carolinas. With such high snow totals, it’s sure to be boom or bust, depending on location.
In Virginia, the predicted snow comes on the heels of a relatively mild winter that seemed to have more up-and-down temperatures than usual. With the first day of spring a week away, this wintry forecast may seem like a cruel joke but it is March in Virginia so nor’easter blizzards are not unusual.
It’s worth noting that Stella is on a similar path as the March 11-13, 1993, winter “Storm of the Century” that hit the East Coast twenty-four years ago, causing 310 deaths, billions of dollars in damage, and had record low temps as well as thundersnow, extra high winds, and tornadoes. Stella is not predicted to be a repeat of 1993.
As a sad side note, Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms, expected to peak this weekend which is early because of the warms temps of winter 2016-17, are in danger from winter conditions that are the harshest since record keeping began in 1921. Northern Virginia and the nation’s capital have the potential to see up to a foot of snow.
At our house west of Staunton in the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, we are under a winter weather watch. The forecast as of Monday morning was suggesting we are in the path for 4-8 inches of snow that will begin between 6-8pm, high winds, and overnight lows in the 20s. Temps through Thursday are expected to top out at daytime highs in the low- to mid-30s with overnight lows in the teens. Areas north of here are expecting much more wintry precipitation.
The National Weather Service as well as numerous weather outlets will be updating throughout the storm. The Weather Channel’s head meteorologist Jim Cantore was in Boston on Monday with a platoon of other TWC weather watchers on location through the storm area.
Wherever you are, and whether you’re expecting snow, rain, or nothing at all, be safe and keep a weather eye to the sky.