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Winter Storm Vulcan Forecast: Heavy Snow Battering Northeast and Parts of Canada; Blizzard Reported in Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y.

Chris Dolce
Published: March 12, 2014

WINTER STORM VULCAN: TALKING POINTS

  • Where: Eastern Great Lakes, Upper Ohio Valley, Northeast, as well as southeast Canada

  • When: Now through Thursday

  • Midwest: Snow tapering in Ohio; blowing snow still a concern around Detroit

  • Northeast: Blizzard conditions confirmed in Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y. Up to 2 feet of snow in Upstate N.Y., northern New England. Mainly rain New York City to D.C.; severe thunderstorms possible in Mid-Atlantic states.

  • Canada: Major snowstorm for southern Quebec, including Montreal, plus parts of Atlantic Canada

  • Near-record low temperatures possible Thursday and Friday mornings in Great Lakes and Northeast.

Winter Storm Vulcan is intensifying into a powerhouse storm, and has become a full-fledged blizzard in spots, as it pushes out of the Midwest and through the Northeast now through Thursday. It is also dumping heavy snow just across the border in the most heavily populated region of Canada.

(MORE: Why We Name Storms | Storm-Naming Criteria)

Vulcan has brought some snow to the West, particularly the northern Rockies. Up to 18 inches of snow fell in parts of central and southwest Montana on Monday and Monday night. The Northern Black Hills of South Dakota saw up to 8 inches of snowfall by the time snow ended there Tuesday.

After skipping over the Central Plains with a meager mixture of snow and rain, Vulcan has become a force to contend with east of the Mississippi River. Winter storm warnings remain in effect for parts of six U.S. states and five Canadian provinces for heavy snow and high winds. A few locations have been upgraded to blizzard warnings. Freezing rain is creating icy conditions along the southern fringe of Vulcan's snow zone.

(NOW: Winter Storm Vulcan Real-Time Updates)

Let's lay out the region-by-region forecast below.

Background

Warnings and Advisories

Warnings and Advisories

Warnings and Advisories

Warnings and Advisories
Background

Northeast Radar, Winds

Northeast Radar, Winds

Northeast Radar, Winds

Northeast Radar, Winds
Background

Midwest Wednesday Night

Midwest Wednesday Night

Midwest Wednesday Night

Midwest Wednesday Night
Background

Northeast Wednesday Night

Northeast Wednesday Night

Northeast Wednesday Night

Northeast Wednesday Night
Background

Northeast Thursday

Northeast Thursday

Northeast Thursday

Northeast Thursday
Background

Midwest, Northeast Snow Forecast

Midwest, Northeast Snow Forecast

Midwest, Northeast Snow Forecast

Midwest, Northeast Snow Forecast

Midwest Impacts: Wednesday

Northeast Impacts: Wednesday - Thursday

  • Snow area through Wednesday night: West Virginia and northern/western Pennsylvania (starting as rain), western, central, Upstate New York and northern New England.
  • Snow area Thursday: Lingering snow and wind in New England, Upstate New York.
  • Mainly rain: I-95 corridor from New York City southward, and areas as far west as south-central Pennsylvania and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.
  • Severe thunderstorm threat: Thunderstorms with damaging winds are possible in parts of the Mid-Atlantic region Wednesday. (More: Severe Weather Forecast)
  • How much snow: Widespread totals of 1 to 2 feet are expected across western and northern parts of New York state and across a large part of northern New England. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour will occur at times, making it difficult to keep roads clear. Localized totals of 24 to 30 inches are not out of the question in northeast New York and northern Vermont. Amounts will taper rapidly farther south (see lower right inset map).
  • Wind: In the areas of heaviest snowfall, gusty north winds of 20 to 30 mph will cause blowing and drifting snow and very low visibility. Wind gusts over 40 mph will be common, with gusts over 50 mph in some areas, including the south shore of Lake Ontario. Blizzard conditions are possible in western and central New York. (MAPS: Today | Tonight | Tomorrow)
  • Ice potential: A narrow zone of sleet and freezing rain is possible in parts of western and northern Pennsylvania; the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, Capital District and Mid-Hudson Valley regions of New York; and parts of southern Vermont, southern New Hampshire, coastal Maine, Massachusetts, northern Connecticut and northern Rhode Island. Locally one-tenth of an inch of ice glaze could form. Icy precipitation should not fall for long periods in any given location.
  • Other impacts: Some power outages are possible due to the high winds on the wintry side and severe thunderstorms on the warm side of Vulcan. Even in areas that see mostly rain Wednesday and Wednesday night, a flash freeze from plunging temperatures could lead to icy road conditions in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware by Thursday morning. Gusty winds on Thursday could cause flight delays in the Northeast.
  • Winter alerts: Northeast
  • Snowy cities: Buffalo | Rochester | Syracuse | Burlington, Vt. | Caribou, Maine
  • Snowy/icy highways: I-76, I-80, I-81, I-87, I-88, I-89, I-90, I-91, I-93, I-95

Canada Impacts:

  • Snow area through Wednesday night: The Ontario 401/Autoroute 20 corridor across southern Ontario and southern Quebec and points south to the U.S. border including the Eastern Townships of Quebec, spreading into New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and adjacent portions of Nova Scotia late Wednesday or Wednesday night.
  • Snow area Thursday: Light snow becoming scattered and winding down from New Brunswick across the Gaspe Peninsula and north to Labrador.
  • How much snow: Over 1 foot (30 cm) possible near and especially south of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec as well as much of New Brunswick. Potential for 6+ inches (15+ cm) of snow along the 401 corridor in Ontario, including Toronto.
  • Wind: North winds of 20 to 30 mph (30 to 50 km/h) with higher gusts will lead to blowing and drifting snow and reduced visibility.
  • Winter alerts: Canada
  • Affected cities: Toronto | Ottawa | Montreal | Quebec City | Moncton, N.B.

(MORE: Your Local Forecast | Winter Weather Summary | Five Snowiest Cities This Winter)

Cold Air Follows Behind Vulcan

Background

Thursday AM Lows

Thursday AM Lows

Thursday AM Lows

Thursday AM Lows

After being teased with milder temperatures to start the week, colder air will dive southward behind Vulcan Wednesday into Thursday. Some daily record low temperatures are likely Thursday morning and Friday morning in the Great Lakes and Northeast.

  • Thursday's potential record lows (Map): A dozen or more locations will flirt with daily records lows. This includes Detroit, Toledo, Ohio, Fort Wayne, Ind. and Grand Rapids, Mich. All of these cities will see lows in the single digits above or below zero.
  • Friday's potential record lows (Map): Over a dozen locations will be within three degrees of a daily record low, including Newark, N.J., Syracuse, N.Y. and Boston.

Check back with us for any changes to this forecast over the coming days here at weather.com and The Weather Channel.

MORE: Winter Storm Vulcan in Pictures

Pedestrians walk in the street during a snow storm in Detroit Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)


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