Winter Storm Gail Blasting Northeast With Heavy Snow.

Published in 17 December, 2020

At a Glance

  • Winter Storm Gail will blast the Northeast through Thursday.

  • Heavy snow, gusty winds and coastal flooding will accompany the storm.

  • Over a foot of snow has piled up in parts of Pennsylvania and New York.

Winter Storm Gail is hammering the Northeast as a high-impact nor’easter packing heavy snow, strong winds and coastal flooding.

This storm’s impacts aren’t confined to the interior Northeast, but are also occurring near parts of the Interstate 95 corridor from New England to New York City.

(MORE: About Naming Winter Storms)

Over 40 inches of snow has been reported in south-central New York and snowfall from Gail, heavy in some areas, continues to fall in much of New York and New England. Ten inches of snow has been measured at Central Park as of Thursday morning.

Winter Storm Alerts

The National Weather Service has posted winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories from portions of New England to the mid-Atlantic.

Winter Alerts

(From the National Weather Service.)

Forecast Timing


The storm will begin to pull away from the Northeast Thursday.

Snowfall and gusty winds will linger through at least a part of Thursday in the Northeast, mainly in New England, but also in the Hudson Valley and central New York in the morning.

Most locations should see improving weather conditions by the second half of Thursday, with the exception of coastal New England, where snow and brisk winds may persist into late afternoon.

Gusty winds are expected, particularly near the New York City metro into Long Island and coastal southern New England.

There could be power outages and tree damage, particularly where strong winds and heavy snow overlap. Blowing snow will also significantly reduce visibility.

(MORE: 6 Things to Know About Your Snow Forecast)

Wind Gust Forecast

This storm will likely produce some coastal flooding from the mid-Atlantic into New England. Coastal flood warnings and advisories have been issued by the National Weather Service from North Carolina to Massachusetts.

Moderate coastal flooding is forecast for the Thursday morning high tide along the Jersey Shore and in coastal Delaware.

Thursday’s Forecast

How Much More Snow?

The heaviest snow totals from this storm will most likely be in a zone from central and northeast Pennsylvania to parts of the Hudson Valley and southern and central New England. Snowfall totals will likely exceed 1 foot and could locally top 2 feet in a few areas.

As far as additional snow, moderate to heavy snowfall will continue in parts of New England into midday Thursday.

(MORE MAPS: Winter Storm Gail Map Tracker)

Snowfall Forecast

(Note: Forecast snow on the map above is in addition to any snow that has already fallen. )

Storm Recap

Up to 40 inches of snow has fallen in parts of Pennsylvania and New York and 44 inches of snow was reported near Newark Valley, New York.

Two all-time snowfall records have been broken. Binghamton, New York, reported 39.6 inches which broke their previous record of 35.3 inches from Winter Storm Stella in March 2017. Williamsport, Pennsylvania, measured 24.7 inches which topped their previous record from Jan. 12-13, 1964, of 24.1 inches.

Snow fell at the rate of one inch per hour in Philadelphia, where 5 to 6 inches of snow was measured in the city by early Wednesday evening before rain and sleet started to mix in. Philadelphia International Airport reported 6.3 inches Thursday morning.

Two to three-inch-per-hour snow rates were common across southeast Pennsylvania and central New Jersey, according to the National Weather Service.

Up to 10 inches of snow piled up around the Pittsburgh metro area as of Thursday morning.

A multi-vehicle pileup killed at least two people in central Pennsylvania Wednesday.

Snow moved into the New York City Tri-State area by mid-afternoon, then intensified by evening, with snowfall rates of one inch per hour. Ten inches of snow was reported in Central Park Thursday morning.

By early Wednesday afternoon, 2 inches of snow accumulated at Washington-Dulles International Airport, with the snow falling in large clumps or aggregates, according to video posted in social media. Precipitation then changed to rain within a few hours.

Ice accumulation of one-quarter inch was reported in Blacksburg, Roanoke and Lynchburg, Virginia, Wednesday. Numerous accidents were reported on Interstate 81 near Christiansburg, Virginia, Wednesday morning.

Earlier Wednesday morning, limbs and power lines were downed due to ice in Saluda, North Carolina, south-southeast of Asheville.

Generally less than 4 inches of snow has already fallen in parts of the Midwest, from Illinois and Indiana into Ohio and southeast Michigan.

Cars move along Woodhaven Blvd. as snow starts to fall Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Wednesday night heavy snow reached southern New England, where numerous reports of more than 6 inches of snow have been observed as of early Thursday.

Snowfall Reports So Far

As of Thursday morning here are the highest snowfall reports in each state, along with any notable ice reports:

Connecticut: 14 inches in Torrington

Delaware: 5.7 inches near Talleyville; 0.41 inches of ice at New Castle County Airport

Indiana: 4.5 inches in Marion

Kansas: 6 inches in Bird City

Maine: 8 inches (estimated) in Wells

Maryland: 12.1 inches near Sabillasville; 0.25 inches of ice near Fairplay

Massachusetts: 14.5 inches in Rowe

New Hampshire: 23 inches in Plainfield

New Jersey: 8.5 inches in Harrison

New York: 44 inches near Newark Valley; 41 inches near Binghamton; 40.5 inches at Endicott

North Carolina: 0.40 inches of ice at North Wilkesboro

Ohio: 7.5 inches at Bridgeport

Oklahoma: 10 inches near Woodward

Pennsylvania: 40 inches at Litchfield; 0.23 inches of ice at Philadelphia International Airport

Rhode Island: 12 inches in Chepachet

Vermont: 30.5 inches near Ludlow

Virginia: 11.5 inches at Basye; 0.60 inches of ice near Pipers Gap

West Virginia: 9.5 inches at Keyser; 0.28 inches of ice near Stanaford

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