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NOR’EASTER TO DELIVER COLD-HEARTED VALENTINE
Persistent February Chill Supporting Array of Winter Weather Woes

NOAA illustration.Feb. 14, 2007 Heavy, wind-driven snow will lash the interior Northeast on Wednesday as a developing nor’easter moves northward from the mid-Atlantic coast and across southeast New England in what is the latest phase of an ongoing winter weather pattern being monitored by the NOAA National Weather Service. (Click NOAA illustration for larger view. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)

Blizzard Warnings are in effect for much of eastern New York and northern New England where strong winds will combine with accumulations exceeding one to two feet—with some totals nearing three feet—before ending Thursday. Thunder and lightning may accompany the heaviest bands of snow, which can produce four or more inches within an hour. Even the lake-effect snow weary sections of western New York, where up to 12 feet of snow has buried towns in the past eleven days, must contend with this additional snowfall.

NOAA image of street in Falls Church, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., after an overnight storm left behind a wintery mix of snow and ice causing schools to close and numerous delays.Winds gusting to near 40 mph will blow the snow into drifts while covering recently plowed pavement, and, at times, drastically reducing visibilities. Low wind chills also will make frostbite a possibility on any exposed skin. (Click NOAA image for larger view of street in Falls Church, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., after an overnight storm left behind a wintery mix of snow and ice causing schools to close and numerous delays. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)

Cold air holding tough from Philadelphia to New York City will result in morning freezing rain that could produce a hazardous icy glaze.

NOAA image of ice on a tree in Falls Church, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., after an overnight storm left behind a wintery mix of snow and ice, which shut down schools and caused untold delays across the region.This nor’easter was born late Tuesday off the Carolina coast, partially from energy transferred by a preceding storm that left a swath of snow and ice from the Plains and Midwest to the mid-Atlantic from the weekend through Tuesday. (Click NOAA image for larger view of ice on a tree in Falls Church, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., after an overnight storm left behind a wintery mix of snow and ice, which shut down schools and caused untold delays across the region. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)

“NOAA’s computer forecast models were excellent in providing early indications of a long-duration winter storm. As with any winter storm, there has been an evolution in the details of exactly who will get snow versus ice versus rain and exactly how much,” said Bruce Terry, lead forecaster at the NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Md. “Predicting the various forms of precipitation is highly dependant upon the exact track of a storm,” he said.

Richard Watling, meteorologist with the NOAA National Weather Service Eastern Region in Bohemia, N.Y., said in this most recent scenario, “The nor’easter hugging the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts will be close enough to shore as to swing milder air from above the ocean inland, resulting in a wintry mix and even plain rain the further east one goes. This will spare the major East Coast cities from heavy accumulating snow, which instead will be saved for inland locations where subfreezing air is well entrenched at all levels of the atmosphere.”

In accordance to the February Outlook issued by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, temperatures in much of the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. have been averaging well below normal this month and helped set the stage for all the wintry precipitation the past few weeks.

“From fast-moving clippers bringing several inches of snow to the Midwest and the mid-Atlantic to static bands of heavy lake-effect snow, this current surge of cold air has been the necessary ingredient for winter weather that was missing in December and January,” added Terry.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA National Weather Service

NOAA National Weather Service Eastern Region—Latest Winter Weather Watches and Warnings Issued

NOAA Weather Safety

Winter Storms: The Deceptive Killers (PDF)

Lake-Effect Snow Summary

NOAA Storm Watch

NOAAWatch—Storms and Hazards

Media Contact:
Greg Romano or Dennis Feltgen, NOAA National Weather Service, (301) 713-0622