United States: Winter storm with intensity of hurricane to unleash snow and blizzard-like conditions this weekend

A winter storm with the intensity of a hurricane, snow measured in feet and blizzard-like conditions will impact major Northeast cities this weekend.

Models show a nor’easter with blockbuster potential for the weekend, mainly late Friday through Saturday.

There are still questions about how much snow will pile up and how extreme winds will get.

“Heavy snow is most likely in parts of New England,” the Weather Prediction Center said Wednesday morning.

“Heavy snow is still possible farther south along the East Coast, including the major I-95 metropolitan areas from New York City to Washington DC, but that is more uncertain at this time.”

The National Weather Service in Boston on Wednesday afternoon issued a winter storm watch for eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, from Friday night until Saturday evening. Expected snowfall ranges from 8 to 16 inches, with wind gusts up to 60 mph.

“Guidance indicates potential for this storm to undergo bombogenesis, meaning its central pressure drops at least 24 mb in 24 hours,” the Boston weather service office said earlier, referring to the unit of pressure known as millibars.

“This creates a very tight pressure gradient, meaning strong, potentially damaging winds will accompany the snow.”

The storm is expected to form in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Georgia, then rapidly strengthen overnight Friday and track Saturday up the East Coast.

More weather predictions are expected on Friday.