Winter Storm Quinn

Winter Storm Quinn Hammering the Northeast With Heavy Snow, Strong Winds, Leading to More Power Outages, Tree Damage

By the Meteorologists
Mar 7 2018 04:15 PM EST

Story Highlights

  • For the second time in less than a week, a nor’easter is slamming the East Coast.
  • This storm, however, is ending up much snowier along the I-95 corridor, including near the Boston-New York City-Philadelphia corridor.
  • Poor commuting conditions have occurred Wednesday in much of the Northeast, and will occur once again Thursday in New England.
  • The combination of heavy snow and strong winds will lead to additional tree damage and power outages.
  • Some coastal flooding is also possible along parts of the Eastern Seaboard.

Winter Storm Quinn has ramped up in the Northeast, with heavy snow and strong winds causing a commuting nightmare, as well as leading to additional power outages and tree damage just days after another nor’easter knocked out power to over 2 million.

Happening Now

The thundersnow led to a teacher being struck by lightning while on bus duty Wednesday afternoon in Ocean County, New Jersey, NBC 10 Philadelphia reported.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, the top snow total was 14.5 inches in West Milford, New Jersey.
The Schuylkill Expressway was shut down just west of Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon, as heavy snow led to numerous vehicle accidents.
In Philadelphia’s northwest suburbs, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, reported 4.5 inches of snowfall in only 90 minutes Wednesday afternoon.

Just after 11 a.m. EST Wednesday, Philadelphia and Central Park in New York both changed over to snow. Rain has changed to snow in southeastern New Jersey and much of Long Island as of 2 p.m.

Other areas of light snow were pivoting through the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, including the Detroit metro area. Parts of western Pennsylvania picked up over 6 inches of snow from one heavy snow band early Wednesday.

Winter Storm Alerts

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings from northern Delaware into eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, eastern New York and much of New England. This includes Philadelphia, New York City, Hartford, Albany, Portland and the Boston metro area.

A winter weather advisory for lighter snow accumulations stretches from central Delaware into parts of New Jersey and southern New England, as well as for parts of New York, including Binghamton, Utica and Watertown.

Quinn’s coastal low will not be as powerful or as slow-moving as the one we saw during Winter Storm Riley last week, but it’ll still pack a punch. In general, the magnitude of the winds and coastal flooding from Quinn will not rise to the level we saw in Riley.

However, some additional tree damage and power outages are likely due to the combination of strong winds and heavy, wet snow.

Forecast Timing

Into Wednesday Night

  • Snow has intensified in parts of the mid-Atlantic states and will spread north into the Hudson Valley and most of New England through Wednesday evening.
  • At times, snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour, with locally higher amounts, will occur from eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey to the Hudson Valley and western New England.
  • This will make for potentially hazardous travel during the evening commute.
  • In southeastern Massachusetts, parts of Rhode Island and eastern Long Island, far southern New Jersey and southern Delaware, rain may dominate, rather than snow.
  • Wednesday night, snow will taper off in the New York City Tri-State and will have ended south of that metro area.
  • However, heavy snow will continue pounding most of New England, with the exception of far southeastern New England, where rain may stubbornly hang on.
  • Winds have picked up along the Jersey Shore and Long Island and will next intensify in New England Wednesday evening and night.
  • Forecast: Boston | New York City | Philadelphia


  • The area of low pressure will track offshore of coastal Maine toward Nova Scotia.
  • Lingering heavy snow is likely in northern New England, particularly in central and northern Maine, northern New Hampshire, northern Vermont and far upstate New York.
  • Any snow in southern New England should end in the morning.
  • Another area of lingering snow is expected in parts of Lower Michigan and Ohio into western New York, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
  • Strong winds may persist in Maine much of the day, but will slacken off elsewhere.
  • Forecast: Bangor, Maine | Boston

Snow Total Forecast

Most of the Northeast near, west and northwest of Interstate 95 from eastern Pennsylvania to New Jersey, eastern New York, much of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine will see at least 6 inches of snow.

The heaviest accumulations of a foot of snow or more are most likely from parts of northern New Jersey into western, central and northern New England, including western and central Connecticut, western and central Massachusetts, New York’s Hudson Valley and parts of southern Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

At times, this snow may fall at the rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour or heavier.

A large gradient in snowfall totals over short distances is likely in parts of southern New England, parts of Long Island and the lower Delaware Valley, where the rain/snow line will likely set up.

Here is how snowfall totals could vary across three major Northeast metro areas:

  • BostonSnowfall may range from over a foot in the western suburbs to an inch or less along the south shore.
  • New York CityAccumulations may range from well over a foot in parts of northern New Jersey and the lower Hudson Valley to a few inches in parts of Long Island.
  • PhiladelphiaThe heaviest accumulations are expected generally north of the city, however, it looks increasingly possible heavy accumulations will also occur in the city itself, as well as the New Jersey suburbs.

Other Impacts


The strongest winds (gusts at times from 40 to 60 mph) from Quinn are expected near and just inland from the immediate Northeast coastline from the Jersey Shore and Long Island to coastal New England.

High wind warnings are in effect into Wednesday night in coastal southern New England, including both the north and south shores of Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island.

While not as strong as near the Massachusetts coast, any strong winds coupled with heavy, wet snow will likely lead to more tree damage and widespread power outages once again in the Northeast into Thursday.

Coastal Flooding

Some minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible along the Northeast coastline into Thursday.

The main high tide of concern will be in the pre-dawn hours Thursday along the Massachusetts coast.

A less intense and more progressive low, along with lower astronomical tides, should keep coastal flooding from reaching the levels we saw during Winter Storm Riley. That said, the battering Riley provided along the coastline may make some areas more vulnerable to any coastal flooding that does occur.

(NWS COASTAL FLOOD FORECASTS: Mid-Atlantic | Southern New England)

Northeast Snowfall Reports

Below are the top snowfall totals by state as of early Wednesday afternoon:

  • Connecticut: 2 inches in New Fairfield
  • Delaware: 2.1 inches in Newark
  • Maryland: 4.5 inches near Churchville
  • Massachusetts: 1.5 inches in Plainfield
  • New Jersey: 7 inches in North Caldwell
  • New York: 7.5 inches in Monroe
  • Pennsylvania: 8 inches in Plymouth Meeting; 7.5 inches in East Nantmeal
  • Vermont: 4 inches in Woodford

Why Will the ‘Q’ Storm (Quinn) Affect the Northeast After the ‘R’ Storm (Riley)?

Winter Storm Quinn was named last Wednesday, Feb. 28, as it began to impact the Sierra Nevada and other parts of the Mountain West with heavy snow and strong winds.

It has been tracking across the country over the last several days, and it will finally conclude its journey as a Northeast coastal storm.

The Weather Channel and did not assign a name to Winter Storm Riley until early the following morning, Thursday, March 1, when the Buffalo National Weather Service office issued winter storm warnings for about 2.8 million people in western and north-central New York. That exceeded the population criterion (2 million) to name Riley.


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