East Coast Braces for Weekend Storm With Heavy Rain, SnowOnce again, New England and northern New York State will get clobbered with snowstorms; the South will get more rain
Utility crews prepare to work on power lines at dusk, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, in Litchfield, Maine, where many have been without electricity since Monday's ice storm. Up to 7 inches of snow is forecast, worrying utilities that the additional weight on branches and transmission lines could cause setbacks in the around-the-clock efforts to restore power. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Yet another weekend storm is taking aim at the East and South. The storm will bring rain to most areas with above-freezing temperatures, but heavy snow is forecast for northern New England.
Rain will drench the southern cities of New Orleans, Atlanta and Mobile, Ala., on Saturday.
Flash flooding may ensue, especially where the pre-Christmas storm left the ground saturated and streams running high thanks to the 1 to 3 inches of rain that fell in many places.
While interior portions of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire will pick up heavy snow, a mix with ice and rain will help cut down on snow accumulation near the coast.
Between the two days of the weekend, Saturday will definitely be the better day for travelers and residents with plans across the East Coast and especially the I-95 corridor.
Drenching rain will swing eastward toward the Carolinas and northward to Virginia on Saturday night.
Locally severe thunderstorms are possible from parts of northern Florida to southeastern Georgia, the coastal areas of the Carolinas and southeastern Virginia.
On Sunday, the rain will focus on the corridor from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York City. A soaking awaits Boston and Providence, R.I., on Sunday afternoon and evening.
The heavy rain threatens to cause urban flooding, slow ground travel and lead to flight delays and cancellations. NFL fans attending games in the area should be prepared for wet conditions. The Redskins/Giants game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey will likely be played during some of the heaviest rainfall on Sunday afternoon.
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While a rebound in temperatures preceding the storm on Saturday will prevent the rain from starting as or ending as snow along the I-95 corridor northward to Providence, R.I. and even Boston, the same cannot be said for all of the Northeast.
Enough cold air will be produced for the rain to either mix with, change to, or totally fall as snow over the mountains in upstate New York and in central and northern New England.
While precipitation will mostly be in the form of rain across Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, some wet snow may mix in at times over some higher elevations, but should add up to no more than a slushy coating to an inch.
"Unlike some recent storms where cold air is coming in, the air ahead of this storm will be stale with no fresh cold," stated AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek.
"That means that the weekend storm will instead have to manufacture cold air itself in order for snow to fall, and we are looking for that to happen on Sunday," continued Dombek.
There will be a substantial accumulation from the Green Mountains of Vermont to New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
From the southern coast of New Brunswick down through southern New Hampshire, enough ice and rain will mix in to help limit snow accumulation. This includes places like Portsmouth, N.H., Portland, Maine and Saint John, New Brunswick.
Far northern and western suburbs of Boston may pick up a slushy, light accumulation of snow on Sunday evening before the precipitation ends. The storm will be a mainly rain event for Boston, although some wet snowflakes may mix in.
Bangor, Maine; Lebanon, N.H.; and Fredericton, New Brunswick; all stand to have significant snow, although any sleet or rain mixing in will help cut down on accumulation.
Where the snowstorm unfolds across New England on Sunday night, a nightmare awaits travelers as roads will quickly become snow packed and treacherous. Heavy falling snow will dramatically reduce visibility for motorists. The storm will also put down a thick blanket of snow on the ski slopes.
The storm will not bring a heavy accumulation of ice, but it will bring snow to some areas still without power in the wake of the recent devastating ice storm.
The weight of the snow could damage more trees and power lines that were left weakened by the pre-Christmas storm along the United States/Canada border.
Wind produced by the new storm as it strengthens along the upper New England coast and in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence region can also cause further damage to weakened trees and power lines. Winds will pick up in the last part of the storm around the Great lakes and the St. Lawrence Valley, raising the same concerns.
The weekend storm will depart the United States by Monday, opening the door for a fresh blast of Arctic cold to arrive and end 2013 on a frigid note across the Northeast.
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