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Weekend nor’easter could slam I-95 corridor

Heavy snow may begin Friday night

(Photo: Connecticut DOT)

(Updated Jan. 27, 2022, 3:00 p.m. ET)

There’s an increasing likelihood of a major winter storm — a classic nor’easter — slamming parts of New England and the Canadian Maritimes over the weekend.

The storm will hit from Friday night through Sunday, impacting truckers along the Interstate 95 corridor from Virginia to Maine.

Related: Chaining up: 4 pro tips for truckers

As of Thursday morning, forecast model guidance was showing the worst conditions would hit eastern New England and parts of the mid-Atlantic.

Heavy snow totals of 12-plus inches, in addition to periods of blizzard conditions, are possible. This could result in significant business, supply chain and transportation disruptions. Issues for truckers could range from reduced speeds to major slowdowns and possible long-term road closures.

Business operation disruptions would likely be moderate to major over the weekend, lingering into next week in some areas. In the most impacted locations, workers may experience difficulties making it to work due to harsh travel conditions. Additionally, look for delays in air cargo and loading or unloading of freight at intermodal ramps. Scattered power outages are also likely in the zone of highest impact.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm watches stretching from North Carolina’s Outer Banks to southern Maine.

The Boston and Providence metropolitan areas could end up with 8 to 17 inches of snow. Portions of New York City, including Long Island, as well as northeastern New Jersey and southern Connecticut, may see 6 to 12 inches piling up. Accumulations of 3 to 7 inches are likely from Richmond and Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Philadelphia, but Baltimore and Washington probably won’t get much snow.

Some coastal areas of New Jersey and Delaware could receive as much as 12 inches, with up to 9 inches along the eastern shores of Maryland, northern and central Delaware, as well as interior parts of central and southern New Jersey. Look for 6 to 12 inches from eastern New Hampshire to southern Maine, with 10 to 16 inches of snow in northeastern Maine.

Related: 5 states with toughest chain laws for truckers

Some inland parts of the Northeast could see wind gusts of 35 to 40 mph, with gusts potentially exceeding 50 mph in some coastal locations. Drivers will run into occasional whiteout conditions due to blowing snow, as well as a high risk of rollovers.

By late Saturday and Sunday, the storm could produce heavy snow and high winds in Canada, mainly across portions of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 64 in Virginia from Richmond to Chesapeake.
• Interstate 95 in Virginia from Petersburg to Thornburg.
• Interstate 95 from Newark, Delaware, to the Maine-Canada border.
• Trans-Canada Highway in Charlottetown, Fredericton and St. John’s.

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.