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Monster blizzard: How bad will it be?

  • Two storm systems expected to merge in Northeast
  • Heavy snow expected in Massachusetts

Two storms are on a collision course this morning, and the mixing of their energy will form a blizzard of historic proportions across the Northeast. 

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Heavy rain is barreling up the North Carolina/Virginia coast this morning, gaining energy from the warmer Gulf Stream Atlantic Ocean current. Meanwhile, a clipper-type storm dumping snow and rain on the Midwest and Great Lakes is running eastward. These two will phase and make a ‘coastal bomb’ off the Long Island coast tonight.

Winds will continue to pick up in strength from the Northeast (that’s why we call them Nor’easters!) and the heavy snow will slam ashore from New England down to the Jersey coast. NYC will start out as rain and transition to a rain/snow mix before turning to all snow late this afternoon. Eight to 15 inches of snow is a good bet for the city. Long Island will see around 10-20 inches.

Keep reading: Boston prepping for big blizzard

The big winner will be Boston. They will never see rain (which cuts down snowfall totals) and may see convective snow bands form over the city itself. Thundersnow? It’s possible, and you know the rates are 2-4 inches per hour when that happens.

I think 3 feet of snow is a given in Boston at this point. That would smash the old record of 27.5 inches in Feb 2003. Power outages with winds to 60 mph all around the coast will also be a major concern, as will the coastal flooding form the constant near-hurricane strength winds pushing the Atlantic inland.

The whole 'schmear' ends by Saturday night, and then it’s time to bust out the tape measures! 

Morning Express with Robin Meade airs Monday through Friday at 6am ET on HLN. Like the show on Facebook, follow Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen on Twitter: @BobVanDillen.

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