What is a Nor’easter and how does it form?


A powerful storm has issued winter weather advisories and storm warnings up the entire East Coast

“You might be seeing some pictures and videos of snow coming from Florida or Georgia,” Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini said.” Winter Storm Warnings blanket the East Coast all the way to the northeast where Blizzard Warnings have been issued for Maine and Massachusetts.” 

>> Read more trending news 

This powerful type of winter storm is known as a Nor'easter, Zontini said. 

“A Nor'easter gets its name because the winds in the coastal part of the storm are typically moving from the northeast. These types of storms usually develop between September and April and can develop between Georgia and New Jersey,” Zontini said.

“The area of low pressure hugs the coast staying around 100 miles east or west of the east coastline. A Nor'easter will typically move northeast, continuing to strengthen, peaking near New England or eastern Canada,” according to Zontini.

RELATED: Tips, warning signs for frostbite, hypothermia

“Storms like this can go through what is called ‘bombogensis’ which is when a low pressure system rapidly intensifies, dropping 24 millibars or more in 24 hours.” 

RELATED: Lose power in the cold? Here’s what to do 

A Nor'easter usually produces heavy rain or snow and are also know for very strong wind gusts and dangerous surf. The big cities that can fall in the path of a Nor'easter include Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, Zontini said. 

“During the winter, these storms develop off the east coast because it is when the polar jet can dip south bringing very cold air to southern states,” Zontini said. 

“The warm Gulf stream waters hug the east coast and warm the air over the coastline. The cold land air spills then can move towards the relatively warmer air over the ocean and feed or enhance the development of theses low pressure systems.”

Some past Nor'Easters include the New England Blizzard of February 1978 and the March "Superstorm" of 1993.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Embattled VA nominee Ronny Jackson accused of drunken driving, drug use
Embattled VA nominee Ronny Jackson accused of drunken driving, drug use

President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is under fire for a series of alleged incidents that have left Congressional Republicans and Democrats wondering whether the Trump administration properly vetted White House physician Ronny Jackson.  >> Read more trending news  Jackson, a rear admiral...
Illicit affair prompted ‘calculated, planned’ murder-suicide that left 2 women dead, police say
Illicit affair prompted ‘calculated, planned’ murder-suicide that left 2 women dead, police say

Two women are dead, including a 2016 candidate for a Delaware State Senate seat, in a Pennsylvania murder-suicide that investigators said was sparked by one woman’s affair with the other’s husband.  Radnor Township police officials reported Tuesday that Jennair Gerardot, 47, of Wilmington, Delaware, broke into the rental home of 33-year-old...
Blake Shelton tweets dig at ex Miranda Lambert amid reports she’s dating Evan Felker
Blake Shelton tweets dig at ex Miranda Lambert amid reports she’s dating Evan Felker

Miranda Lambert is reportedly dating folk musician Evan Felker, and fans of her ex-husband Blake Shelton seem to think that one of Shelton’s tweets is about her. According to Us Weekly, Shelton has called out Lambert in a subtweet posted Wednesday. Us Weekly reported on Tuesday that Lambert, was dating Felker, of the neo-folk group ...
Suspected 'Golden State Killer' identified as ex-cop decades after serial rapes, murders
Suspected 'Golden State Killer' identified as ex-cop decades after serial rapes, murders

A 72-year-old California man has been arrested after authorities said DNA tests pegged him as the Golden State Killer, a serial murderer and rapist who terrorized the state in the 1970s and 1980s.
On a diet? Avoid carbs or should you? Here’s what the science says
On a diet? Avoid carbs or should you? Here’s what the science says

You’ve probably seen advertisers or bloggers blaming carbohydrates for your inability to lose weight. Or you may have a friend or family member in your life who’s cut carbs as part of a trendy new diet plan. >> Read more trending news  While some dietitians have advocated cutting carbs to shed a few pounds, others have suggested...
More Stories