The Farmer’s Almanac says March usually blows in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. But this year it seems to be the opposite.
Less than two weeks ago, the nation’s capital was enjoying 80-degree temperatures.
Now, Washington D.C., and much of the Northeast are about to get walloped with heavy snows from a major winter storm Monday and Tuesday, the National Weather Service says.
Forecasters expect Washington will get off easy, with 5-10 inches of snow.
Boston and the New York metro area could get up to 18 inches, forecasters say. Shoppers began tweeting photos of long lines and empty shelves at grocery stores.
Just one week before the official start of spring, the weather service issued a blizzard watch for New York City, Long Island, metro New Jersey, northern Connecticut, southern Rhode Island and parts of eastern Massachusetts, including Boston.
On Twitter, the storm (dubbed “Stella” by the Weather Channel) generated memes of Marlon Brando despairingly calling for “Stella!” in the classic movie “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
Ahead of the storm, bone-chilling temperatures persist across the region. Highs in New York should remain below freezing, forecasters said.
“Nearly one in every three people in the US are under a winter weather alert of some sort,” CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said. “This all comes after what seemed like it would be the year without a winter.”
The blizzard watch extends beyond New York City to Long Island, Southern Westchester, Southern Fairfield, Southern New Haven, Middlesex, and New London counties.
Washington D.C., Boston and Philadelphia, as well as parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, are under a winter storm watch, forecasters said.
“We have two low-pressure systems essentially coming together to create a potentially significant Nor’easter,” CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.
“The first low begins in the Midwest and progresses east to the Mid-Atlantic region. The second low begins off the coast of Florida and moves north along the east coast and meets up with the first low around Washington, D.C.”
Washington D.C. kicked off the month with a record high of 80 degrees on March 1. Now, residents will have to bundle up for a predicted 5 to 10 inches of snow through Tuesday, forecasters said.
“Since January first, we have seen over 9,000 record high temperatures set in the US, compare that to only 1,300 record low temperatures this winter, a 9 to 1 ratio favoring warmth,” Javaheri said.
Despite the advance of colder temperatures across the Eastern US, last month was one of the warmest on record, the National Weather Service tweeted.