On Monday, Hurricane Willa was approaching the Mexican coast as a Category 5 storm, but by Friday, its remnants could bring winds, rain and erosion to Maryland beaches and the season's first snow in the Appalachians.
The storm is forecast to feed a low pressure system expected to sweep up the East Coast on Friday and Saturday.
It’s still too early for precise forecasts, but National Weather Service forecasters said the main American and European weather forecasting models suggest a coastal storm is likely.
“Both models agree that some semblances of precipitation will likely occur on Saturday with there being a chance for precipitation starting sometime late Friday afternoon into evening,” meteorologists at the weather service’s Baltimore/Washington forecast office wrote.
Temperature forecasts suggest a cold rain for most of Maryland, but the possibility for wet snow on higher terrain along the Appalachians.
AccuWeather.com meteorologist Evan Duffey said the system has the potential to strengthen into a classic “Nor’easter,” a type of storm that commonly buffets the East Coast in the fall and winter.
“A period of heavy rain is most likely along the coast. Coastal areas may have to contend with beach erosion and flooding at time of high tide,” he said. “Impacts from gusty winds from the strengthening storm could be a factor throughout the region.”
Forecasters at the weather service’s Wakefield, Va., office suggested the storm could pose “major marine concerns” for the waters around Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula.
“Stay tuned as this system unfolds this week,” they wrote.