Snow Hurricane set to hit East Coast

Whatever that means, it doesn’t sound good

North Atlantic weather systems. From Wikimedia Commons

According the New Jersey Star Ledger, from Thursday to Saturday (February 24th to 26th), the region in and around the state of New Jersey will be vulnerable to a Nor’easter, that will  potentially bring hurricane force winds with snow, up to 15 inches worth.  The kind of damage that can be done from a storm of this kind could take more than a couple of payday loans to clean up.  This year’s winter season has been particularly hard on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. The Atlantic Ocean is a harsh mistress from the Gulf to Maine.

What’s a Nor’easter?

The North Atlantic produces some pretty nasty weather, and one of the harshest blows it routinely deals comes in the form of a storm called a Nor’easter, which typically hits coastal regions from D.C. to Maine.  What happens is that warm air (usually from the Gulf of Mexico) is drawn to the north by the Gulf Stream, a warm current that runs from the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida, up the East Coast, and runs east across the Atlantic at the Labrador Coast.  This brings warm, low pressure systems up into colder weather systems, and those of us who remember physics – warm and cold, slammed together, are NOT good bedfellows.

The result is that storms begin to build somewhere around Florida, and by the time they are just off North Carolina, they start to get nasty.  When Nor’easter storms land, in the cooler parts of the year, typically October to April, they can come in the form of gale (39 to 63 mph) and up to hurricane force (73 mph or greater) winds.  These storms will typically land from North Carolina to Maine and into Canada and can cause moderate to severe damage.

The East Coast has been pounded this year

This year’s winter storm season for the east coast of the U.S. has been particularly nasty.  Heavy snowfall has taken place all across New England; D.C. was buried in mounds of snow.  New Jersey just received 4 to 12 inches of snow in some areas earlier this week, and 7 to 15 inches is anticipated along with winds up to 70 mph heading north into New York state and parts of Pennsylvania.