Astronomical Spring begins on Tuesday, but the weather will not be cooperating. Unfortunately we are once again gearing up for another Nor'easter, making this the 4th in 3 weeks. While exact impacts and details have yet to be determined, be prepared for disruptive weather in the Northeast from Tuesday through Thursday (March 20th-22nd). Disruptions may include snow, strong winds, and coastal flooding with power outages possible.
Early indications are that this upcoming Nor'easter may not strengthen as rapidly as some of the previous storms, but an impactful event is still likely. Additionally, it looks like impacts could be more widespread with precipitation possible back through the parts of the Midwest and possibly down into parts of the Tennessee Valley. For the storm-weary Northeast, the threat of another Nor'easter is sure to have consumers stocking up on storm staples like milk, bread, and eggs in addition to emergency items like bottled water, batteries, and generators.
As we move deeper into March with the daylight hours getting longer and the sun angle getting higher, accumulating snow, especially on roadways, becomes more difficult to achieve. That is not to say that accumulating snow is out of the question, but accumulating snowfall will greatly depend on whether the snow falls during the day or night and the intensity of the snowfall.
Regardless of the Nor'easter, temperatures are forecast to remain below normal through at least the next 10 days in the Northeast and back through the Ohio Valley and from California to the northern Plains. Even areas in the Southeast could see more threats of freezes as temperatures plunge in the wake of the storm system. Lawn and garden categories will be slow to move in the latter part of March with the start of the season for many spring categories delayed several weeks. On the bright side, the earlier Easter holiday should help to soften some of the negatives of colder weather, especially for spring apparel categories, as the holiday approaches. The South Central U.S. looks to be the most favorable region for spring categories at the moment as warmer than normal temperatures prevail and continue generally over the next 10 days.