Nor'easter? Bomb cyclone? Northeast braces for weekend storm. Will it hit Rochester?

·3 min read

A storm with the potential to grow into a powerful nor'easter is poised to strike the Northeast this weekend, bringing with it the possibility of heavy snow, strong winds and coastal flooding.

But according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo, the storm is not expected to hit Rochester, Buffalo or any part of western New York, but rather to impact the larger cities closer to the coast, including New York City, Philadelphia and Boston.

Meteorologist Tony Ansuini of the National Weather Service in Buffalo said that the storm is not expected to travel even as far inland as Albany.

As of Wednesday, snow is not in the forecast for the Rochester region this weekend, however, it will be cold.

With a high on Wednesday around 15, it will be the coldest day of the work week, Ansuini said. Thursday will feel warmer, with a high in the upper 20s but it will be windy, with predicted gusts up to 35 mph.

A cold front is expected to move through early Friday, which will cause temperatures to drop into the teens on Friday, then single digits overnight.

Some scattered snow showers are possible on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but little snow accumulation is expected, according to the Weather Service.

The weekend, he said, is predicted to be cold with a high of 15 on Saturday and in the low 20s on Sunday.

Nor'easter? Bomb cyclone? Northeast braces for weekend storm

The storm is forecast to develop off the coast of the Carolinas, but not for another few days, leaving its exact path and potential impact subject to change.

Coastal areas in the Northeast are most likely to experience heavy snow, with Boston and Portland, Maine, forecast for a 70-90% chance of at least 3 inches on Saturday into Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.

"Confidence is increasing that a coastal storm will bring significant winter impacts to parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including the I-95 major metro areas, Friday through the weekend," the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center wrote on Tuesday. "Heavy snow, strong winds, and coastal flooding are all possible. Stay tuned!"

While the storm's exact path is uncertain, it's likely that it will become a "bomb cyclone," a winter hurricane that occurs when a cyclone strengthens by rapidly intensifying or quickly dropping in atmospheric pressure. The storm could also possibly build to gain nor'easter status, characterized as a large, intense area of low pressure that typically develops off the East Coast, hence the name.

There is high confidence that the storm will move northeast along the coast and head near or into the Gulf of Maine on Saturday, Weather Service Meteorologist Hunter Tubbs told the Fosters Daily Democrat, part of the USA TODAY Network.

"There's significantly less confidence in how close that system will track to the New England coastline, which will have a big impact on snowfall totals and impacts," Tubbs said. "If it tracks close to the coast, there's the potential for pretty heavy snowfall, but if it tracks too far offshore, there's a chance for more of a light accumulation."

He added, "A difference of even 50 to 100 miles closer or farther away from the coast can make a huge difference in what we see."

The last notable nor'easter to hit the Northeast, in October, hammered the area with hurricane-force winds and heavy rains, leaving more than 600,000 homes and businesses without power at one point.

Rochester NY weather next week

Ansuini said that temperatures are expected to increase in the Rochester region next week, with predicted highs on Monday and Tuesday in the 30s and potentially reaching the 40s later next week.

The normal high for the last week of January in Rochester is 33, and the normal low is 18, according to the Weather Service.

Contributing: Doyle Rice, USA TODAY; Megan Fernandes, The Fosters Daily Democrat (Dover, New Hampshire)

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Rochester NY Weather: Will storm hit Rochester or Buffalo?

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