Winter Storm Set to Strike Northeast TodayThe storm will bring snow, wintry mix, rain to the region
Feb. 26, 2013
A storm, bringing a blizzard to part of the Plains, will swing through the Northeast. The storm will bring a period of rain on the coast and everything from heavy snow to a wintry mix and rain inland and farther north during the middle days of the week.
The nature of the storm will be very complex in the Northeast, and the form of precipitation may change many times over its history in some locations.
Regardless of the form of precipitation, the storm will cause travel disruptions.
While rain and not snow is forecast from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York City, the rain can be heavy for a short time and accompanied by gusty wind. As a result, there is the potential for travel delays spreading northeastward with the storm Tuesday into Tuesday night along the I-95 corridor.
The worst and longest-lasting effects from rain will be in southern New England. The combination of rain and melting snow can lead to urban flooding problems. The action of moist air flowing over snow cover and/or a cold ground can also lead to fog.
A wedge of cold air will be enough to bring a period of accumulating snow from north-central and part of central and northeastern Pennsylvania to central interior New England to part of southern Ontario and Quebec. Snow in part of this area could be heavy and wet.
Areas along much of the New York Thruway and the Southern Tier Expressway in New York fall within this regime a stretch of I-80 in Pennsylvania, before any mixing with rain.
On the upper end of I-95, much of I-93 and northern portions of I-87 and I-91, the advance of warm air and transition to a wintry mix or rain has the potential to stop dead in its tracks.
According to chief meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "A conveyer belt of moisture may continue to deposit moisture in the form of heavy snow over portions of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont Wednesday into nearly the end of the week."
From central and northeastern Pennsylvania to the southern tier of New York to western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut, a coating to a few inches of snow and wintry mix will fall. Much of the snow may fall during a two- to four-hour period. Most of this area will transition to rain Tuesday night. However, roads can be slippery for a time, prior to change to plain rain.
A wedge of cold air near the ground and cold surfaces can lead to a period of freezing rain in the I-70, I-68, I-77 and I-81 corridors from western North Carolina to Virginia, West Virginia and western Maryland.
A great deal of the setup for this has to do with the time of arrival of the rain, which will tend to be early in the day Tuesday, before the landscape has a chance to warm up with plain rain. Fog could then be an issue for some locations.
The Storm Will Not Be in a Hurry to Leave
A return flow of colder air into the central Appalachians and eastern Great Lakes, combined with lingering moisture, will translate to a change to snow or snow showers Wednesday. This can lead to renewed slippery spots and snowcovered roads.
A southward buckle in winds high in the atmosphere will develop, funneling cold air into the Deep South, and this has the potential to bring the lowest daytime temperatures of the season for the region.
The pattern could put a chill on activities for those spending spring break in Florida or other Southern states.
Depending on how quickly this buckle develops and captures the remaining moisture, a second precipitation event could unfold, in the form of snow in central and southeastern New England Friday.
"It could snow for days in part of northern New England, when factoring in the first part of storm Wednesday and lingering effects into the weekend," Abrams stated.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists will continue to monitor the progress of the storm and the cold air that follows.PHOTOS ON SKYE: Intense Blizzard Slams Central Plains