Did major East Coast blizzard sneak up on us?

With a road sign warning of an expected blizzard, morning commuters travel across the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge into downtown Boston., Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. The Boston area is expected to get hit with about two feet of snow in the winter storm. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
With a road sign warning of an expected blizzard, morning commuters travel across the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge into downtown Boston., Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. The Boston area is expected to get hit with about two feet of snow in the winter storm. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A major snowstorm is bearing down on the East Coast. Travel bans are being issued. Warnings of dangerous and deadly travel are being broadcast. Flights are being cancelled by the thousands. But, if you think, you missed something last week, you may not have. We asked trusted meteorologists in the states affected for the breakdown.

What changed that sent models from flurries two days ago to blizzard warnings yesterday?

We went to our sister station, WTNH in New Haven, Conn., for details. Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Kevin Arnone told us, “The models as late as Friday had this system as just flurries for (Monday/Tuesday). It wasn’t until Saturday morning where they started to hint at a significant snowstorm. What changed was a bigger dip in the jet stream to really help this system intensify. At first, this system looked to go well over shore. So, the position and track of the storm changed dramatically as well!”

Keep up with WTNH’s minute-by-minute storm coverage at www.wxedge.com

What things are place that make this possibly an historic system?

Arnone says, “What will make this historic is the strength of the winds and amount of snow! We could witness winds in excess of 75+ mph in parts of New England. That’s hurricane strength. With these winds, wind chill values will be -20 to -30 F below! Two to three feet in parts of New England as well! This will sure be one for the books.” Kevin sites the following factors as reasons for why this storm will be one for the record books:

  • A very cold high to the north of us will help to bring in COLD air, which makes this an all snow event for New England.
  • Due to the strong NE winds for a long duration of time, coastal flooding is also a huge issue!
  • Tides will be 2-4 feet above normal for 3 straight tide cycles.
  • Monday night, snowfall rates may be 2-4 inches an hour at times!

What about Austin – What impact will it have here?

Nearly a dozen flights to and from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport have been canceled ahead of the storm. Many of the airlines that fly to and from Austin have major hubs in the storm’s path. Flight cancellations to and from the northeast will add to the total number of cancellations at ABIA.

Many websites offer you the opportunity to check if your flight is impacted. The best strategy is to go directly to your airline to determine if there is a disruption in your itinerary, The nation’s major air carriers are already waiving ticket change fees and even encouraging passengers to delay their travel.

With states of emergency being issued in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, millions of workers could be told to stay home. Governors of those states are already asking drivers to stay clear of the roads. With that many workers being out of pocket, it’s possible to see delays in the business world, too.

Coverage you don’t want to miss:

Connecticut: wxedge.com – an interactive weather web site with constant blizzard coverage and an interactive map on snow totals
Massachusetts: wwlp.com – Massachusetts’ governor has already declared a State of Emergency
Rhode Island: wpri.com – Constantly update storm blog here

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