• DTS.USA
    5.829
    -0.005
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.860
    0.010
    0.4%
  • NTID.USA
    2.820
    -0.040
    -1.4%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.930
    -0.030
    -1.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.990
    0.040
    0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,810.370
    100.000
    0.8%
  • DTS.USA
    5.829
    -0.005
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.860
    0.010
    0.4%
  • NTID.USA
    2.820
    -0.040
    -1.4%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.930
    -0.030
    -1.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.990
    0.040
    0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,810.370
    100.000
    0.8%
InsightsNewsWeather and Critical Events

Blizzard warnings posted as nor’easter approaches East Coast

Worst conditions along I-95 from Virginia to Maine

Blizzard conditions are likely to slow down or shut down supply chains temporarily in parts of the East Coast this weekend.

A strong cold front will meet up with a potent low-pressure system heading up the coast, producing heavy snow and high winds from the mid-Atlantic to New England. Coastal flooding will also be possible.


Related: Chaining up: 4 pro tips for truckers


Carriers, shippers, brokers and customers should be ready for significant delays due to potential lengthy road closures, in addition to scattered to widespread power outages. Besides delays on the roads, look for disruptions in air cargo, as well as loading and unloading at ports and intermodal ramps. Impact from this storm may linger into next week.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency Thursday in anticipation of the storm.

“The key message for all Virginians is to stay aware of the weather conditions and to stay off the roads if possible,” Youngkin said. “We have already started planning and mobilizing resources needed to protect the Commonwealth. We are very concerned with the forecasted impacts to our Eastern Shore region and have started pre-positioning resources to ensure a timely response to that area. The most important thing everyone can do to minimize the risks is to prepare yourself and your family.”

The National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings for coastal areas of Massachusetts, including Boston, Gloucester, Quincy, Plymouth, Chatham, Falmouth, Provincetown, Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod. These places could see up to 24 inches of snow and wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph Saturday and Saturday night.

Southern portions of New Hampshire and Maine are also under blizzard warnings for Saturday and Saturday night. Snow totals of 12 to 16 inches are expected, with wind gusts reaching 55 mph at times.

Other blizzard warnings include southern sections of the Delmarva Peninsula — 8 to 12 inches of snow, 50-mph gusts — and coastal counties in New Jersey — 8 to 15 inches, 50-mph gusts.

A blizzard is generally characterized by high winds and reduced visibility due to falling or blowing snow. More specifically, the NWS specifies that a blizzard must have sustained winds or frequent gusts of at least 35 mph, accompanied by falling and/or blowing snow, reducing visibility to less than one-quarter mile for at least three hours (whiteout conditions).

(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Critical Events and radar, 8 a.m. ET, Jan. 28, 2022. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)

Winter storm warnings Friday evening through early Sunday stretch from far northeastern North Carolina to central Maine, including cities such as Augusta, Maine; Concord, New Hampshire; Springfield, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; New York City; Philadelphia; Wilmington, Delaware; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Many of these places could also see 12-plus inches of snow and gusty winds. Blizzard conditions are likely, but may be less frequent than areas under the blizzard warnings.

Farther inland, winter storm watches have been posted from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to the Maine-Canada border. Most of these areas will see 4 to 8 inches of snow. However, 12 to 18 inches could pile up in parts of Downeast Maine and the Penobscot Valley in Maine.


Related: 5 states with toughest chain laws for truckers


Inland winter weather advisories stretch from just north of Columbia, South Carolina, to Poughkeepsie, New York. This is where snow totals will likely be the lowest and where winds will be the weakest.

By late Saturday night the storm will fade in the U.S. as it exits northern Maine. It will then move into Canada, producing heavy snow and high winds mainly across portions of the Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland on Sunday.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 64 from Chesapeake, Virginia, to Charleston, West Virginia.
• Interstate 85 from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Petersburg, Virginia.
• Interstate 95 from Florence, South Carolina, to the Maine-Canada border.
• U.S. Highway 1 from Columbia, South Carolina, to the Maine-Canada border.
• Trans-Canada Highway in St. John’s, Fredericton and Charlottetown.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.