Major Winter Storm - Great Lakes to Southeast Canada/Northeast U.S. - February 7-11, 2013

Timing: 03PM Feb 7 to 06AM Feb 11, 2013 CST

Discussion: ***Historic and potentially life threatening winter storm poised to move across much of the Northeast U.S. and parts of Southeast Canada over the next 24-48 hours****

There has been little change in the forecast as a low pressure area near the North Carolina Coast this morning quickly strengthens and moves northeast along the East Coast and south of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Island over the next couple of days. This system will bring heavy snow to parts of Southeast Canada and the Northeast U.S. over the next 24-48 hours. Heavy snow up to 2 feet or more is possible from southern New England to Nova Scotia, including the greater Providence, Boston and Halifax areas.

Snow is forecast to increase in coverage and intensity over the eastern Great Lakes region, including southern Ontario this morning, shifting east across much of the Northeast U.S. and adjacent parts of southern Ontario and Quebec later today and tonight. The low pressure area will then spread heavy snow northeast across the Canadian Maritime Provinces late today and through Saturday as the low pressure area tracks slowly to the east.

Some uncertainty remains on the exact timing and track of this winter storm system, but we are gaining confidence that heavy snow and strong winds will affect a large part of the Northeast U.S. and Southeast Canada. Be advised that snow amounts are forecast to average from 6-12" over most of the region; however, heavier amounts up to 12-24" or more are possible from southern New England northeast across much of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Island later this week. The heaviest snow is likely to fall from southern New England eastward across much of Nova Scotia where amounts up to an incredible 30" or more may occur. In addition to the snow, sustained winds of 30 to 45 mph with higher gusts up to 60 mph or more will be possible from eastern Long Island and coastal New England (including the Providence and Boston areas) northeast across coastal Nova Scotia and southern Newfoundland Island. The combination of heavy snow and gusty winds will create blizzard conditions in some areas with widespread blowing and drifting snow making any type of travel impossible.

Be advised that travel conditions will quickly deteriorate from west to east across much of Southeast Canada and the Northeast U.S. today and Saturday due to the combination of heavy snow and blowing snow. Travel conditions over much of southern and eastern New England through much of Nova Scotia will likely halt to a standstill during the height of the storm. In addition, power outages will be a concern in those areas closer to the coast where the stronger winds are forecast to occur from S/E New England northeastward to southern Newfoundland Island. Also strong northeast winds ahead of and during the storm will push tide levels up to 3-5 feet above normal from Long Island through coastal Newfoundland Island tomorrow afternoon through Saturday, creating some coastal flooding and beach erosion.

Conditions are forecast to improve from west to east this weekend as the powerful winter storm system shifts out to sea. We'll continue to closely monitor the latest information and issue updates to the forecast when necessary.

Meteorologist: Jim Palmer