DISCUSSION: Over the past 24 to 48 hours, the world watched as a historical extra-tropical low-pressure system (more commonly referred to during the Winter-time months as a Nor'easter when positioned along the East Coast of the United States). During the course of the lifetime of this historic nor'easter, there were prolific impacts inflicted across the eastern half of the United States all the way from central/northern Ohio to the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast regions of the United States. s this began its trail of impacts across parts of central and northern Ohio, more than 200,000 people were left without power within the first few hours of impacts from this powerful Winter storm. The primary power outage catalyst ac as a result of heavy wet snowfall accumulating rather quickly along with blustery winds which aided in the process of downed trees and consequently downed power lines which took out power for many people across northern and central Ohio.
As the storm began to transfer its energy from the Central United States to the East Coast, havoc was quickly unleashed all the way from Virginia and North Carolina to northern New England. This came as a result of a combination of large amounts of heavy/wet snowfall along with incredibly strong winds (in some cases up to and over hurricane force) which subsequently led to widespread power outages across more than 6 states across the Northeast United States. In addition, along coastal regions there was tremendous damage caused by major coastal flooding via a very potent storm surge all the way from coastal Maine to coastal New Jersey. Hence, this was a very far-reaching coastal low-pressure system which ended up being one for the books and will be remembered by many for a long time to come.
What made things even more interesting was the latter interaction which occurred between what remained of the powerful coastal low and an upper-level low pressure system positioned over Hudson Bay, Canada. This interaction effectively involved a symbiotic upper-level channel of poleward moisture and energy transport which often with extra-tropical cyclones later in their lifetime as they begin to breakdown and dissipate. However, in the case of this particular Winter storm, there is a blocking high-pressure system positioned to the north of low. Therefore, due to the clockwise flow of the wind streams around the blocking high-pressure system, this facilitated an effective northward moisture transport during the course of the day on Saturday. This process is reflected by the animated infrared satellite imagery attached above.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz