Close call for the Northeast as bomb cyclone clips Cape Cod as it heads out to sea

Rain and snow showers combined with gusty winds will close out the week before a fantastic weekend ahead for most of the country.
Image: A satellite image shows weather over the continental United States on March 6, 2020.
A satellite image shows weather over the continental United States on March 6, 2020.NOAA

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By Kathryn Prociv

It’ll be a close call for the Northeast on Friday as a coastal storm swings by not too far offshore.

The National Weather Service has issued High Wind Warnings for the Cape, where wind gusts could be as high as 65 mph. Snowfall totals could also be 2-4 inches along Cape Cod, and 3-5 inches for Nantucket.

The wind and snow forecasts have increased since Thursday, because the storm is expected to be stronger and track slightly closer to the coast than what models showed earlier this past week. In fact, this storm will qualify as a 'bomb cyclone,' dropping more than 24 millibars in 24 hours.

The National Weather Service has also issued Coastal Flood Advisories out for 3 million people along parts of the Massachusetts, Jersey and Delaware coasts. Rainfall amounts will be generally ½” or less, with highest rainfall totals along the Jersey and Delaware coasts.

Hot on the heels of the coastal storm is a small but mighty area of low pressure speeding through the Great Lakes early Friday and eventually the northeast later in the day. Light rain showers will impact the urban corridor along with gusty winds that could cause some minor to moderate travel delays during the afternoon hours. Snow showers will be possible across northern New England and the Appalachian Mountains where a few inches of snow, up to 6 inches in spots, could fall through early Saturday.

It will be a fantastic weekend for most across the country, with the only active weather expected across the Pacific Northwest and Rockies.

On Friday, there will be light rain from the Pacific Northwest stretching down toward the Central California Coast with light snow falling over the Cascades. By Saturday, snow will increase in coverage from Oregon down through California. The snow will move east into parts of the Northern Rockies Saturday night, decreasing in intensity by Sunday. While rainfall and snowfall amounts aren’t expected to be a lot, it will be much needed precipitation for parched areas of California and the Sierra.