Massive Nor'easter bigger than Hurricane Sandy expected to bring winds, snow, cold blast to Northeast for late March

UPDATE: 114 mph wind gusts reported. See below.

March came in like a lion, and it looks like the lion isn’t leaving, but you can’t blame the “polar vortex” this time.

As a massive winter storm at sea known as a Nor’easter prepares to skirts the Northeast coast of the USA,  bringing with it high seas and bitterly cold weather in its wake, Dr. Ryan Maue writes:

Massive Nor’easter will develop a warm-core thru a seclusion process.

Compare previous image w/Hurricane Sandy– same 850-mb Wind speed & MSLP. Nor’easter wind field much stronger/larger.

[It is] maybe 4 times more powerful than Sandy based on integrated KE of wind field.

The image of the storm is quite stunning for it’s sheer size. Images and animation follow.


Compare that to these satellite photos of Hurricane Sandy:

Hurricane Sandy satellite image

Hurricane Sandy winding up before making landfall Image: NOAA

Hurricane Sandy near Landfall. Image: NOAA

Hurricane Sandy near Landfall. Image: NOAA

Watch this animation of the storm as it is forecast to develop, click it to get it to animate full size.


The biggest difference here is the track, Sandy made landfall in NYC, this nor’easter is not expected to there, but will skirt the coast and will make landfall later in Newfoundland,  But, it will have a significant effect on the northeast USA due to its ability to transport air mass.

He adds:

Not the #polarvortex this time. Textbook tropopause fold & baroclinic wrapup


What that will do is act like a pump, and pull bitterly cold air in behind it (note the stream in the rendering above). The result will be a late March like no other, possibly the coldest late March on record for the area:


The National Weather Service in Boston is preparing for blizzard like conditions in some areas, plus hurricane force winds at sea.


They are even asking readers to “make the call” on snow amounts.


UPDATE: 4:10PM PDT 3/26/14 While Jai Mitchell tries (unsuccessfully) to argue in comments that there’s  no comparison to Hurricane Sandy, we get reports like this one from Environment Canada with 114 mph wind gusts and sustained winds of 86 mph:



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Les Johnson

In like a lion, out like a lion pack….
Jo Nova found a good video of what its like in Canada thsi winter, and for good measure, the skit takes a shot at Environment Canada, who has a forecast record that equals that of the Met Office.

But oh lord, spring is taking its sweet time arriving this year….


This WILL be blamed on global warming!

george e. smith

Well I wouldn’t worry about it. On Average, tropical storm Sandy, really didn’t do much damage, unless you cherry pick data from when it was near the USA. The rest of its life, it just made some waves out in the ocean.
So this new mega-nor-easter, will do about the same (on average) so it will be another much ado about nothing.
But if it comes your way, well take appropriate precautions, because the instantaneous power
P = dE / dt can be a whole lot higher, than the average E/t for the complete life cycle of the event.
But MikeB won’t understand why that is.


March came in like a lion and is leaving like a polar bear.

What I like most about those pictures are the nice, clear, warm skies over Texas.


Tropopause fold and baroclinic wrapup….
Can’t wait to try that on the wifey later on!


Les Johnson says
Les – maybe a lion pride?
I hope the snow n ice, plus melts, do not do in the East what they did last weekend in the west – a dozen dead, more missing from a BIG landslide.


Pray this system stays to the east and does not track further west.


1816 again? Year without a summer?

jai mitchell

here is the comparable sandy image
note that the isobars are in 4mb decriments, not 3 as the one above.
What is not even comparable is the fact that the westward portion of the sandy storm maintained its cyclonic gradient instead of being fed from the northwest as this current storm will be.
This effectively doubles the area of the windfield and quadruples the energy associated with the storm, so, no sandy was still more energetic.
For comparison, look at how lake Michigan waves react to this storm (it will be minimal) compared to sandy (30 foot waves on the Chicago waterfront).



Guardian – 25 March 2014
Climate change will make UK weather too wet and too dry, says Met Office
The UK’s weather will become both too wet and too dry – and also too cold and too hot – as climate change increases the frequency of extreme events, the Met Office has warned in a new report.


Those within the Enviromental/Indistrial Complex will go wild with this weather event calling it more evidence of global warming (climate change). Could someone with historically accurate data post other Nor’easter events equal to or greater than this one so we can have some ammunition to reply to their hype?

Jimbo says:
March 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm
There, you doubters – it was worth buying the Met Office that fancy computer after all!

Bruce Cobb

Here in NH, temps have been running about 15-20 deg.F below the average lately, and this March may go in the record books as the coldest. Looking ahead though, there is a slight warming trend coming later in the week up to a “minus 2” over the weekend, and – gasp- a whopping “plus 3” next Monday before sliding back down again.


Other than CA, this is the heart of climate change religious fanatics. Another good dose of reality is in order there. Let them grasp at frozen straws to explain it.


Nova Scotia got the memo

3:56 PM ADT Tuesday 25 March 2014
Blizzard warning in effect for:
Yarmouth County
Heavy snow and widespread blowing snow on Wednesday.
This is a warning that blizzard conditions with near-zero visibilities are expected in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..listen for updated statements.
A low pressure system developing off the U.S. seaboard today is forecast to intensify rapidly as it tracks toward the Maritimes tonight and Wednesday. The storm is expected to track near Cape Breton Island late Wednesday evening before moving on to Newfoundland on Thursday.
Snow is forecast to begin overnight in Southwestern Nova Scotia and spread to the remainder of the province Wednesday morning. The snow is expected to change to rain late in the day along the Atlantic coast as well as over the eastern half of the mainland and Cape Breton. Elsewhere the snow is expected to taper off Wednesday night. Strong northeast winds will develop during the day Wednesday and gusts up to 100 km/h are possible later Wednesday afternoon and evening. These very strong winds combined with heavy snow will cause widespread whiteout conditions in blowing snow. In general between 25 to 40 centimetres of snow can be expected with this system over most of Nova Scotia. However, some areas over Western and Northern Nova Scotia could locally see in excess of 50 centimetres, and given the extensive blowing and drifting snow there could be significant variability in snow amounts received within any forecast region.
Additionally on Wednesday afternoon and evening higher than normal water levels combined with rapidly rising wave activity may produce local flooding along much of the Atlantic coast of Mainland Nova Scotia during the high tide late Wednesday afternoon. These high water levels combined with the heavy pounding surf could give rise to some coastal erosion in some areas. In the Northumberland Strait water levels will also rise Wednesday evening but may not reach warning levels. However warnings may have to be extended to these areas tonight.
Les Suetes winds gusting up to 160 km/h are expected to develop late Wednesday afternoon and diminish Wednesday evening.

Darren Potter

Stop Global Nor’easter Warming, ban ManBearPig from Boston to Province areas.


Wws, those skys look kind of green on the map. Is it raining frogs ouside your window?


So I guess the weather channel will name this one Danny. as in Zuko….


@Jimbo… I think the Met Office supercomputer has a severe case of malware infection, likely caused by their scientists surfing too many dodgy websites all day long. 😉


I thought this site was about climate.
All they do here is talk about the weather.


It appears that the eastern USA is repeating the events of 1977. I just happened to come across this paper that describes extreme cold in the East and drought in the NW USA. Back then it was blamed mainly on El Nino and extremely cold SSTs. What is the reason this time around?

Gunga Din

I know this is small comfort to those about to hammered by this latest manifestation of “Global Warming” but I have pictures of my family in 1970 in our Easter outfits standing in about 2 to 3 inches of snow. This was in Northern Kentucky.
Weather happens.

Anything is possible

Jimbo says:
March 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm
Somebody at the Guardian clearly screwed up. That article wasn’t supposed to be released until NEXT Tuesday.

Gunga Din

chuck says:
March 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm
I thought this site was about climate.
All they do here is talk about the weather.

That’s because the problem is those who claim to be able to do something about it.


“March came in like a lion”
More like a polar bear this year. And that polar bear isn’t in a hurry to go anywhere.
I live in SE Wisconsin. I woke up this morning to a temp of 23 degrees F and a fresh layer of snow.


Sandy was not a hurricane. Maximum sustained wind speeds were never over 25 meters per second. Several offshore buoys showed about the same data points. Recorded speeds at land stations were about 20 meters per second at most.
Wind damage was consistent with tropical storm. Here is a chart of the wind speeds at one of the offshore buoys where the highest winds speeds were recorded. Buoys outside NY harbor and Long Island show about the same speeds. The hurricane threshold is sustained speeds of 33 meters per second.

Rud Istvan

And to think it was old Ben Franklin who first deduced the true nature of Nor’easters, which have been happening forever. We could sure use a few more of his type (lightning is electricity, bifocals, better wood burning stoves, a Constitution that the present administration apparently disdains…)
rather than decline hiding Manns, conspiracy ideationist Lews, and heat hiding Trenberths.
Ever wonder what the Poor Farmer’s Almanac would have thought about CAGW? Poor Richard knew there were plenty of weather calamities, but that adaptation (a stitch in time saves nine), prudence (a penny saved is a penny earned), and a bit of perseverance (spring reliably follows winter) served well. They still do.

Tom J

I’ve got a pen. And I’ve got a phone. And I’m gonna’ use them. “Hello weather service…”

Tom J

I’d say now is a good time to take that Tesla out for a spin on the East Coast. Let’s see what it’s made outta’.

Can you hear the calls for world communism howling in the distance?

re: jai mitchell says March 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm
…. For comparison, look at how lake Michigan waves react to this storm (it will be minimal) compared to sandy (30 foot waves on the Chicago waterfront).
30 foot waves on the waterfront? Chicago would be flooded … YOU MUST MEAN 30 foot breakers (a ‘wave’ impacting a breakwater or shallow ‘draft’ water yields brief heights of perhaps near 30 feet).
Do you know the difference?
Google images: 30 foot waves on the Chicago waterfront
Hurricane Sandy’s Winds Hit Lake Michigan



Looks like Jolly Ol’ Al Gore is up to his tricks again.
If ya can’t win one way, well, you just gotta do it another way.

Jim Bo

I’m old enough to remember this, back in the good ol’ days of CAGC.


jai mitchell says:
Not so fast

Sandy had similar characteristics while it was blowing through the tropics. But as the storm moved northward, it merged with a weather system arriving from the west and started transitioning into an extra-tropical cyclone.
We had some watches up around western Lake Ontario. It was a breeze.

April fools day blizzard in boston 1997…26″of snow

John Bennett

patiently sitting here in Nova Scotia waiting for 50+ cm of snow – snow blower at the ready


jai mitchell says:
March 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm
“This effectively doubles the area of the windfield and quadruples the energy associated with the storm, so, no sandy was still more energetic. ”
What? That cannot be. There’s more CO2 now.

Richard Day

If the anti-Keystone Clowns are still tied to the WH fence, then PLEASE, PLEASE unleash the storm’s fury on DC. Preferably 3 ft of snow, -25F temps and gale force winds.


I blame el nino.

Gunga Din

Richard Day says:
March 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm

They’d just spin it faster than “snow devil”.
“if you ever want to be warm again we must stop Global Warming NOW!”.

supposed to be 50mph winds and about 8-10 IN of snow tomorrow here in Maine.
its just another spring storm to me.

Looks like it’s tracking East of the earlier European model forecast. We’ll just get a few windblown inches here in Boston. Antigonish, NS, sorry, you’re toast! Please try to dig out before the Highland Games, so the caber doesn’t get stuck in the snow.

Steve from Rockwood

Quick, get Al Gore out of Nova Scotia or the whole thing’s gonna blow. Oh, he’s on vacation in Florida? Quick, get Al Gore away from those orange trees…


Here is a reference to a Nor’easter that if it hit today would have done more damage than Sandy because of costal build up over the years. As it was it still caused very wide spread damage and loss of life. I have never seen it mentioned alongside Sandy although it hit some of the same area like Long Beach Island N.J. Selective memory?

Thanks Dr. Maue. Good forecast of bad news.
Jim, at 0:43 in your reference the surfer is standing and from my point of view as an old surfer, those are 4 to 5 foot wind-driven waves breaking on a shallow sandy beach.


I always like to check the weather warnings for the appropriately named Wreckhouse area of Newfoundland:

Along the west coast of the island potentially damaging winds are expected to gust to 160 km/hour in exposed locations and 180 km/hour in the Wreckhouse area.

160 km/h = 100 mph
180 km/h = 110 mph
Well blow me down!!

Steve Oregon

jai said “For comparison, look at how lake Michigan waves react to this storm”
That will be pretty tough to look at since most of Lake Michigan is frozen.