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Northeast Winter Storm Gail forecast: when and where it could land?

A new nor’easter is barreling down on the East Coast on Wednesday into Thursday bringing with it strong winds, heavy snow and some coastal flooding.

A new nor’easter is barreling down on the East Coast on Wednesday into Thursday bring with it strong winds, heavy snow and some coastal flooding.
NedraFlicker/Creative Commons

The last nor’easter Flynn is moving off into the Atlantic with Gail set to hit the East Coast on Wednesday. Winter Storm Gail could be one of the more intense weather events in the last couple years according to the Weather Channel. As it makes its way through the mid-Atlantic and into the northeast it will bring treacherous travel conditions, so best to be prepared.

North and west of the I-95 corridor between Philly and Boston could see a foot of snow or more with 6 inches possible in the metro areas. Freezing rain could accumulate in southern Virginia and western North Carolina bringing down tree limbs causing power outages. Strong winds may cause coastal flooding from the mid-Atlantic states up into the northeast.


As the storm moves through the Central and Southern Plains into the Ohio Valley it will bring a dusting of snow. By the evening it could develop into sleet or freezing rain east of the central and southern Appalachians affecting parts of North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.


The peak of the nor’easter will be felt on Wednesday with significant heavy snow and strong winds. The main areas affected will be the central Appalachians, mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Snowfall levels in the East Coast cities, from Washington DC up to southern New Jersey, will depend on the track of the storm with snow mixing with sleet and rain. Northern New Jersey up to southern New England can expect to see more snow build up. Heavier snowfall accumulations will occur in the interior north and west of the I-95 corridor, perhaps over a foot.

Further south expect a mix of sleet and freezing rain in the western Piedmont of North Carolina and into West Virginia. Ice accumulations could make driving hazardous and may bring down powerlines with falling tree limbs. Power outages can be expected where heavier snow accumulation is mixed with high winds.


Depending on if the storm tracks further out to sea snowfall and wind gusts could hang around through Thursday afternoon. The National Weather Service has issued coastal flood watches for Thursday morning and afternoon's high tide from the Jersey shore to Delaware. This storm will likely also produce some coastal flooding from the mid-Atlantic into New England.

Be sure to have your house and car ready

During a major winter storm, it is best not to venture out as the road conditions will be treacherous. If you do have to travel in the maelstrom take some precautions before you set out, good planning can make a world of difference. Check with the local Department of Transportation whether you need to carry chains in your car, the AAA has a list of state regulations that you can check.

Similarly, it is wise to keep supplies on hand in the home should you experience a power outage such as candles and non-perishable foods. Careful heating your home in the winter using a fireplace, extended use could present the risk of a chimney fire. Also hot ash from the fireplace can present a fire risk if put in with the trash. If you use a gas heater the house should be ventilated to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

You should carry at all times some essential items in your car whenever traveling, and especially in the winter time. These include according to AAA:

  • Cell phone and car charger (glove compartment)
  • First-aid kit (glove compartment)
  • Warm Blanket (luggage area)
  • Candles and lighter or matches
  • Drinking water/snacks for everyone in the car including pets (some in glove compartment, the rest in the luggage area)
  • Flashlight with extra fresh batteries
  • Rags, paper towels or pre-moistened wipes
  • Basic set of tools along with duct tape and car emergency warning devices such as road flares or reflectors (luggage area)
  • Ice scraper/snow brush
  • Jumper cables/jump pack
  • Traction aid such as sand, salt or non-clumping cat litter
  • Tarp, raincoat and gloves
  • Shovel