Tuesday’s Nor’easter ‘Stella’ Could Become a Weather ‘Bomb’

By Weather .com

Winter Storm Stella will hammer the Northeast early this week with possible blizzard conditions and could bring the season’s biggest snowfall to parts of the Interstate 95 corridor.

Stella will also deliver a swath of snow to the Midwest through Monday.

A large area of the Midwest from the Dakotas to Lower Michigan is under winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings.

Travel will be impacted by light to moderate snow as jet stream energy and a weak area of low pressure move through the region into Monday.

Current winter watches, warnings and advisories

Current winter watches, warnings and advisories

Then, a strong area of low pressure will develop off the East Coast late Monday in response to the aforementioned jet stream energy, bringing a nor’easter with heavy snow and strong winds to the Northeast.

Where March is the Snowiest Month

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch from New York City and Long Island to southern Connecticut, southern Rhode Island and portions of southeastern Massachusetts, including Boston.

Winter storm warnings have also been issued across other parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

Storm totals of a foot or more are likely in parts of the Northeast region, which will heavily impact travel.

Strong winds could cause tree damage and power outages in the Northeast, as well.

Current winter watches, warnings and advisories

Current winter watches, warnings and advisories

INTERACTIVE: See Where the Snow is Now

Below, we have the forecast for impacts in the Northeast followed by an overview of what to expect from Stella in the Midwest.

Stella’s Northeast Timing

Monday Night

  • Snow will begin to develop in the mid-Atlantic region as the coastal low from Stella develops and intensifies.
  • The snow could be heavy at times overnight with rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour.
  • By late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, snow may develop as far north as New York City or southern New England.
  • Light to moderate snow will also impact the eastern Great Lakes region.
  • Travel should be avoided Monday night in all of the above-mentioned areas.

Bombogenesis: Could Winter Storm Stella Become a Weather ‘Bomb’?

Monday Night's Forecast

Monday Night’s Forecast

Darker blue shadings depict areas with moderate or heavy snow.


  • A large swath of the Northeast will see snowfall, heavy at times, from Stella during the daytime hours.
  • Snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour are possible near or on either side of the Interstate 95 corridor.
  • Blizzard or near-blizzard conditions are possible in coastal areas.
  • Road and airport travel are likely to be snarled across the region.
  • Strong winds and the weight of the snow could cause some tree damage and power outages.

Timing the Heaviest Snow

Tuesday's Forecast

Tuesday’s Forecast

Darker blue shadings depict areas with moderate or heavy snow.

Tuesday Night – Wednesday

  • Snow, heavy at times, will continue throughout much of New England Tuesday night.
  • Farther south, snow will become lighter overall.
  • On Wednesday, lighter snowfall and gusty winds will continue across the Northeast region, but the worst of the storm will be over.
Tuesday Night's Forecast

Tuesday Night’s Forecast

Darker blue shadings depict areas with moderate or heavy snow.

How Much Snow to Expect in the Northeast?

Heavy snowfall accumulations are likely in the Northeast region from Stella, though the exact track of the low is still somewhat uncertain.

Therefore, keep in mind the forecast totals shown on our graphic below could change depending on the exact track of Stella and its evolution.

  • A foot of snow is possible along the Interstate 95 corridor from Stella, including in Boston, Providence, Rhode Island, New York City and Philadelphia.
    • It’s not out of the question that some locations may pick up 18 inches or more of snow from Stella.
  • In the mid-Atlantic, including Baltimore and Washington D.C., snow amounts are still somewhat uncertain and dependent on where the rain/snow transition line sets up.
    • The best potential for a foot of snow is likely to be northwest of the Interstate 95 corridor in this area.
  • Snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour are possible during the height of the storm in the most intense bands.
  • Blizzard or near-blizzard conditions, with wind gusts to 50 mph, may occur Monday night through Tuesday in the blizzard watch area.
  • Poor travel conditions will also exist in other parts of the Northeast.

Forecast Snowfall Tracker

Snowfall Forecast

Snowfall Forecast

Snowfall forecast totals are subject to change.

This may be the heaviest snowstorm so far this season in Boston and New York City, which saw 9.4 inches and 10.9 inches from Winter Storm Niko on Feb. 9, respectively.

New York City has seen 36 winter storms since 1869 that have produced a foot or more of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Just four of those storms have occurred in March, with the last to do so March 3-4, 1960.

March Can Have Heavy Snowstorms

Coastal Flooding Possible

Coastal flooding may also become a problem from the Delmarva peninsula and Jersey Shore to Long Island, Cape Cod and the islands Tuesday and Tuesday night as strong, potentially damaging winds from the south and east push water ashore in those areas. Tides on Tuesday may run 2 to 3 feet above average and coastal erosion is likely.

Wave heights on the ocean waters off the coast are forecast to range from 12 to 18 feet, with breaking waves of 6 to 9 feet at the shore, especially along the Atlantic-facing Delaware and Jersey beaches.

In addition, widespread flooding of vulnerable shore roads may lead to numerous road closures in coastal areas.

Stella’s Midwest Forecast

Current Conditions and Radar

Current Conditions and Radar

As mentioned before, Stella will also move through the Midwest and bring light to moderate snowfall accumulations to a large part of that region through Monday.

The snow will affect the Monday morning commute in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee. Snow will continue through the afternoon and evening on Monday in the Great Lakes region, including Chicago and Cleveland.

Midwest Snowfall Forecast

Midwest Snowfall Forecast

Many cities from North Dakota to Lower Michigan will see at least light snowfall amounts of three inches or more. Heavier totals topping a half foot are possible from North Dakota to southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

Lake-effect snow could continue in northeast Illinois, including Chicago, through Tuesday. This storm is likely to give the Windy City its first inch of snow on the ground since Christmas Day.

5 Extreme Winter Storms in Spring

Stella’s First Phase Recap: Snow Dusts South and Midwest

Parts of the Midwest and South saw snow from Stella’s first phase Saturday into Sunday.

Up to 5 inches of snow was reported near Cave City, Arkansas, and 4 inches was measured in Paris, Tennessee.

Sunday morning, parts of north Georgia, North Carolina and northern South Carolina saw snow from Stella. Most of the accumulations were on grassy and elevated surfaces.

Snow was even observed as far south as Columbia, South Carolina, Sunday morning. The National Weather Service said this was just the 17th time it has snowed there in March, dating to 1888.