Nor'easters are storms that move north up the East Coast of the United States. Although
they can occur at any time of the year, severe winter nor'easters are especially
dangerous. Cold temperatures and high winds combine to produce unhealthy
wind chills. Strong northeasterly winds that blow in off the ocean cause
huge waves that crash onto Atlantic beaches. This often causes beach erosion
and property damage. Heavy precipitation can accumulate very quickly in
the form of rain, freezing rain, sleet, or snow.
A successful winter storm forecast should say what kind of precipitation
(rain, freezing rain, or snow) will fall, when it will start, how long
it will last, how hard it will be, and exactly where it will fall. This
is especially hard for meteorologists when dealing with nor'easters, which
are often unpredictable. So, what clues does a meteorologist look for
when predicting a nor'easter?