3 Ways Winter Storm Quinn Isn't Like the Last Nor'easter

Brian Donegan
Published: March 7, 2018

Winter Storm Quinn is bringing more heavy snow and strong winds to the Northeast just days after another nor'easter knocked out power to over 2 million, but Quinn looks to be much different than last week's Riley.

(MORE: Winter Storm Central | How Winter Storms are Named)

Here are three ways Quinn isn't like the last nor'easter.

1. Quinn Will Produce Heavier Snow Near Big Northeast Cities

Quinn's swath of heavier snow will be located farther south and east than during Riley. This puts some of the big cities along Interstate 95 in play for significant accumulating snow, including near or just west and northwest of Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

I-95 Snowfall Forecast Close-Up

Winter Storm Riley's heaviest snow was in upstate New York, especially west of Albany and in the Catskills. In Schoharie County, New York, the town of Richmondville picked up a whopping 40 inches of snow.

This time, the heaviest accumulations of a foot of snow or more are most likely from parts of northern New Jersey into western and northern New England.

Boston and New York City only saw a trace of snow from Riley while Philadelphia picked up 1.5 inches. Quinn will bring much more snow to those cities.

(FORECAST: Winter Storm Quinn)

2. Coastal Flooding From Quinn Will Not Rival Riley

Some minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible along the Northeast coastline Wednesday and Thursday as Winter Storm Quinn impacts the region. The main high tide of concern will be in the pre-dawn hours early Thursday morning.

A less intense and more progressive low, along with lower astronomical tides, should prevent coastal flooding from reaching the levels we saw during Winter Storm Riley. That said, the battering Riley provided along the coastline might make some areas more vulnerable to any coastal flooding that does occur.

Riley damaged seawalls and caused extreme beach erosion from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to southern Maine, with the worst damage occurring along the shores of Massachusetts.

Moderate flooding was observed at tide gauges in Scituate, Massachusetts, and Boston Harbor last Friday morning. The storm tide at Boston Harbor peaked at its third-highest level on record, only topped by Winter Storm Grayson in January and the Blizzard of '78.

(MORE: 5 Problems With Back-to-Back Nor'easters)

3. Quinn's Winds Won't Be as Strong as Riley's

Winds could gust over 40 mph across the Northeast Wednesday into early Thursday. The strongest gusts from Quinn are expected near and just inland along the immediate coastline from the Jersey Shore to coastal New England.

While 40-mph wind gusts are certainly strong, they're nowhere near the magnitude of the gusts observed during Riley.

Four different locations in Massachusetts reported winds gusts of 90 mph or more, including Barnstable (93 mph), East Falmouth (92 mph), Wellfleet (91 mph) and Nantucket (90 mph).

Six states recorded wind gusts of at least 70 mph. Among those locations reporting 70-mph gusts or higher were Boston's Logan Airport (70 mph), Bayville, New York (78 mph), Cape May, New Jersey (71 mph) and Washington's Dulles Airport (71 mph).

As of early Saturday, 751 reports of wind damage had been received by local National Weather Service offices in 36 hours covering the duration of Riley.

Despite Quinn featuring less wind than Riley, power outages and tree damage will still be a concern, especially in eastern New England, due to the heavy, wet snow that's expected. The winds could also contribute to air travel delays and lead to blowing snow.

(MORE: 4 Dangers of Heavy, Wet Snow)

Brian Donegan is a meteorologist at weather.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.