Messy weather will gradually hit a large portion of the Northeast today, Nov. 18, with freezing rain and icy conditions from northeastern Pennsylvania to Maine, including the I-95 corridor north of Boston. It’s all because of a low pressure system off the U.S. East Coast and high pressure over eastern Canada.
Ice accumulation could reach two-tenths of an inch in some spots, possibly weighing down tree limbs and/or utility lines and making roads impassable. A change to sleet and snow is likely overnight and tomorrow, Nov. 19, across interior sections of the Northeast and New England. Snow and sleet accumulations could pile up to five inches in eastern and northern Maine, from Millinocket to the Canadian border. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Weather Advisory, shown as the blue-green shaded areas in the FreightWaves SONAR Critical Events map above.
Meanwhile, rain and gale force winds will slam the New England coast. There’s a tight pressure gradient between the low off the East Coast and the high over Canada – in other words, a significant change in atmospheric pressure over a fairly short distance. This will create strong gusts of 45 to 50 mph because pressure and winds are directly related to one another. Power outages and roadblocks will be possible on the I-95 and US-1 corridors.
Besides delays of surface freight, shippers should expect possible short-term delays of air cargo at the following airports: Boston Logan International (ICAO code: BOS), Manchester-Boston Regional (ICAO: MHT) and Albany International (ICAO code: ALB). Weather may also cause minor disruptions to operations at the Port of Worcester. These assets are indicated by the dots and “donuts” on the Critical Events map above. In this case they are orange, signifying a Medium risk of disruptions.
The silver lining – freight markets affected by this storm have low outbound volumes, except for Allentown, Pennsylvania (OTVI.ABE) and Elizabeth, New Jersey (OTVI.EWR), according to today’s SONAR data. This is shown in the map directly above. So the storm will mainly slow down local and regional supply chains with likely negligible effects at the national level.
Late tonight into Tuesday, look for possible snow and ice in the Midwest from Minneapolis to Chicago. As of this morning, the NWS was expecting only minor accumulations, so they haven’t issued any winter weather alerts. However, this may change later today.
Look for areas of heavy valley rain and mountain snow across the Desert Southwest, Great Basin, Sierra Nevada and the Rockies from Tuesday afternoon through Thursday, Nov. 21. This is mainly due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Raymond moving into the region.
There is potential for flooding in the lower elevations and 12 to 24 inches of snowfall in some high elevations. Gusty winds could produce blowing/drifting snow, white-out conditions and low/no visibility. So far, the NWS has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Sierra Nevada range in eastern California, portions of southern Nevada and parts of southwestern Utah. As is often the case, additions alerts may be posted as the forecast timing and precipitations amounts are narrowed down.
Typhoon Kalmaegi is getting very close to the Philippines, making a likely landfall in the far northern reaches of the country on Tuesday, Nov. 19. Kalmaegi is producing sustained winds of 85 mph and could maintain the same strength at landfall.
On Kalmaegi’s latest forecast track, the typhoon would not affect any major Philippine ports. However, shippers may have to deal with short-term delays in ocean freight as container ship captains in the region slow down to wait out the storm, or steer around it. Depending on the quality of infrastructure, Kalmaegi will create minor/moderate disruptions to local business and supply chain operations in the northern Philippines.