A surprise snowstorm may cast a ghostly white across the landscape in the Northeastern U.S. late Friday and into the day on Saturday. The exact outcome of the storm will hinge on many factors, but most of the short-range weather forecasting models are indicating some type of precipitation from the Carolinas through Maine this weekend. Many areas will likely start out with precipitation in the form of rain with a change-over to wet snow. While locations directly along the coast may miss out on the snow as warmer ocean waters influence temperatures there, locations closer to and just to the west of the I-95 corridor from Baltimore up through New England will have the best chances of seeing the first snow of the season. Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston all could see a change from rain to snow. Snowfall totals will generally be a few inches to as much as 6’’ in the mountains; accumulations should be reserved to grassy surfaces as temperatures stay above or just near the freezing mark, however, any heavy bursts of snow could cover roadways. Higher elevations have the greatest chance of seeing a slushy accumulation on the roads. As is typical of coastal storms, a deviation in the forecasted track of the storm east or west by just 50 miles or more will greatly alter the outcome of the storm. A Winter Storm Watch has been posted by the National Weather Service for northeastern Pennsylvania and northwestern New Jersey.
See snow map here.
The forecast isn’t as scary as it seems since the snow will be favorable for cold weather categories like comfort foods, snow removal products, and heavy outerwear. Cold weather apparel will do well as consumers rush to find extra layers of clothing to wear and keep them warm because this will be a “Chiller Night(s)” for Halloween festivities (Yes, that was a lame attempt at a reference to Michael Jackson’s Thriller and I apologize). Temperatures in the Northeast will trend the coldest in 9 years for the period of October 28th to the 31st. Fortunately, store traffic should not be impacted too severely as the snow is expected to stick only on grassy surfaces.
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Weather Trends International (WTI) is the global leader of actionable year-ahead business weather guidance for retailers, manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, agricultural firms, financial analysts and consumers worldwide. The company’s business-to-business clients include some of the world’s most respected and successful companies such as Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Target, AutoZone, Anheuser-Busch, Johnson & Johnson, Clorox, Energizer, 3M, JP Morgan and Hershey’s. Its business-centric weather solutions and understanding of how consumers respond to the weather is used throughout organizations to help "manage the weather risk.” Utilizing technology first developed in the early 1990s, WTI’s unique, statistical, math-based forecasting methodology projects temperature, precipitation and snowfall trends up to a year ahead for 6.4 million locations in all 195 countries with industry-leading 80%+ accuracy (as verified in an independent audit by Forecast Watch). The company has received 12 business and technology awards and in 2009 was listed #5 on Forbes’ list of America’s Most Promising Companies. WTI is headquartered in Bethlehem, PA with offices in Bentonville, AR. For more information, visit www.wxtrends.com or www.wt360.com.