The official start of winter is more than two months away, but this weekend some parts of the interior Northeast might get a taste of the upcoming season with snow and unseasonable cold. A storm is forecast to rapidly strengthen along the leading edge of colder air along the Atlantic coast on Friday. Overnight into Saturday is when the snow could develop in places, though it will be a rain event for most people in the Northeast.
It is possible the storm will strengthen enough to be classified as a bomb cyclone, which occurs when the atmospheric pressure at the storm’s center falls at least 0.71 of an inch of mercury (24 millibars) in 24 hours. In layman’s terms, this will be a potent storm with heavy precipitation and gusty winds regardless of whether the scientific criteria for bombogenesis are met or not.
Cold air is forecast to catch up with the back side of the rainstorm in such a way as to allow precipitation to change over to accumulating snow over the ridges and peaks of the Adirondacks of northern New York state, and the Green and White mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire on Saturday.
“It is not totally out of the question that snowflakes may be seen even at some of the intermediate elevations in the Catskills, Berkshires and Poconos with this event,” AccuWeather Senior Storm Warning Meteorologist Brian Wimer said.
Prior to the potential for snow, the storm will begin to crank out drenching rain and gusty winds northward through eastern upstate New York, and western and central New England.
Even if the storm does not strengthen into a bomb cyclone, winds could become strong enough to break tree limbs and knock over poorly-rooted trees in New England. The winds will also knock a significant amount of bright fall foliage off the trees.
Motorists should expect delays Friday into Saturday from downpours that could create poor visibility and cause excess water on the roads. Where leaves have fallen onto secondary roads in wooded areas, conditions can be extra slick.
This dose of drenching rain will be especially beneficial in the Northeast where rainfall deficits in some locations have topped 10 inches since June 1. Upstate New York and central and western Pennsylvania have been struggling with abnormally dry to severe drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.