March is supposed to go in like a lion and out like a lamb. This year, Mother Nature is working backwards as the east coast heads into the first day of spring while dealing with a nor’easter known as Winter Storm Regis.
Winter Storm Regis is already affecting several areas on the east coast. As of Saturday evening, snow accumulation was reported from areas in the Appalachians, Washington D.C., Garrett County in Maryland and Front Royal in Virginia.
On Friday, this winter storm affected several states outside of the east coast, including Colorado, Wyoming and Kansas.
From Rawlins to Laramie, Wyoming, Interstate 80 was closed for use as early as late Thursday. It has since been reopened, and residents should have no issues with travel in that area.
— Jonathan Erdman (@wxjerdman) March 18, 2016
The Weather Channel issued predictions on what to expect from Winter Storm Regis over the next couple of days.
On Saturday, the publication indicated that pressure from the winter storm should intensify around the coast of the Mid-Atlantic. Snow will be continuing to fall and accumulate in several of the areas already affected by the nor’easter.
According to their prediction, Winter Storm Regis will also bring some minor snow accumulation to other areas on the east coast. Those areas include: Cape Cod, Nantucket Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Long Island and New Jersey.
It’s believed that Winter Storm Regis will spread snow and wind into eastern Maine and Atlantic Canada on Monday. A warning has been issued to New England areas stating that winter driving conditions are possible after the weekend, and that many roads will be affected by the storm until the late afternoon or night on Monday.
“You might be wearing short sleeves today, but by the time that cold air settles in, you won’t be wearing them Monday,” a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, Kait Parker, explained.
For areas on the east coast that don’t get snow, they may still see a dip in temperatures. The National Weather Service reported that the winter storm may cause temperatures to fall by as much as 30 degrees.
Don’t worry, though. Short sleeves and spring jackets will return soon enough. After approximately two or three days, Winter Storm Regis should pass by, allowing the temperature to stabilize at a degree much more appropriate for the new season.
Although initial forecasts insisted that New York and Connecticut could see quite a bit of snow accumulation due to the winter storm, NY1 has since reported that the forecast has changed a bit. It is now believed that the storm could miss both areas, or only cause gentle snow flurries with no accumulation at all.
— Jonathan Erdman (@wxjerdman) March 19, 2016
The forecast involving Winter Storm Regis have been spotty because of some issues with the storm itself. Aside from the warm winter having been a factor, other issues have made Regis very difficult to predict. The Weather Channel explained.
“It wasn’t simply just one upper-level system giving birth to offshore low pressure, but rather a complex interaction of (A) a digging shortwave trough from the Rockies, (B) a remnant circulation from a stalled gyre of low pressure over the Upper Midwest and (C) a sharp southward dip in the jet stream nosediving southeastward from Canada. The other challenge was simply that it’s late in the ‘snow season’. Air masses by early spring are typically only marginally supportive for snow in lower elevations.”
NBC News indicated that forecasters believe that, even now, the predictions could change. If the storm shifts just a little bit in any direction, the outcome could be drastically different.
“We may get very minimal snow, just right along the coast,” Parker said, but “if it moves closer to the coast, we could see some big snow totals.”
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]