"THIS STORM IS GETTING BEEFY/INTENSIFYING," says our nation's meteorology agency.

NOAA/NASA

This week's nor'easter isn't even fully developed, and it already looks like a monster: a vast sea of thick clouds moves off the East Coast, hairy with hurricane-force winds and crackling with intense lightning activity.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service are percolating with what sounds like a combination of dread and excitement. "THIS STORM IS GETTING BEEFY/INTENSIFYING," writes one in the Boston office (the ALL CAPS are normal for these weather bulletins). "ITS BOMBOGENESIS BABY!" That explosive term means a cyclone is rapidly dropping in pressure, signaling an imminent, powerful intensification. The meteorologist adds this will be a "CRIPPLING AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC BLIZZARD" for southern New England, and discourages travel for its "SERIOUS LIFE-THREATENING" conditions.

America's space instruments have monitored the swollen system's growth from the beginning. NASA stitched together this animation of a "cold front push off the U.S. East coast followed by a low pressure area from the Midwest"—the same low involved in the looming nor'easter.

At 1:25 pm EST, the Suomi NPP satellite caught the hellacious image of the storm shown above. NOAA explains what it bodes:

This system will be responsible for heavy to intense snowfall and strong winds, with blizzard conditions expected from eastern New Jersey to eastern Massachusetts where Blizzard Warnings are in effect. Accumulations will likely exceed one foot from eastern New Jersey through eastern Maine by late Tuesday. The heaviest snow accumulations, perhaps exceeding two feet, are forecast across portions of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including the Boston area. Currently, New York City is forecast to receive 18-24 inches of snow, and Boston is forecast to receive 24-36 inches of snow. Wind gusts of 45 to 60 mph will be common from eastern New Jersey to eastern Massachusetts, leading to widespread blizzard conditions. Wind gusts up to 70 mph are possible in far eastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and Nantucket.

The NWS' Weather Prediction Center shows the massive system right off the coast of Massachusetts early on Tuesday morning. Here's its breakdown of potential snow accumulations through Thursday—note the wide expanse of 1-to-2-foot-high snowfalls:

@nwswpc

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A new map of neighborhood change in U.S. metros shows where displacement is the main problem, and where economic decline persists.
    Equity

    From Gentrification to Decline: How Neighborhoods Really Change

    A new report and accompanying map finds extreme gentrification in a few cities, but the dominant trend—particularly in the suburbs—is the concentration of low-income population.

  2. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  3. Life

    Who’s Really Buying Property in San Francisco?

    A lot of software developers, according to an unprecedented new analysis.

  4. Environment

    No, Puerto Rico’s New Climate-Change Law Is Not a ‘Green New Deal’

    Puerto Rico just adopted legislation that commits it to generating all its power from renewable sources. Here’s what separates that from what’s going on in D.C.

  5. a photo of a beach in Hawaii
    Transportation

    Could Hawaii Be Paradise For Hydrogen-Powered Public Transit?

    As prices drop for renewable power, some researchers hope the island state could be the ideal testbed for hydrogen fuel cells in public transportation.