Temperatures climbed well above freezing along the I-95 corridor early today, but it's all downhill for the rest of the day and tonight. A cold blast that has already sent temperatures below zero in Chicago will send readings tumbling through the teens tonight from Philadelphia to Boston.
A storm forming in the Gulf states (after the current cold front stalls) threatens to spread snow and ice across the Southeast. The risk of disruptive snow exists, but the greatest danger may be ice that gets thick enough to snap tree limbs and power liners. Coastal South Carolina and Georgia, plus locations near the Gulf Coast in Mississippi and Alabama, could face significant icing unless the storm track changes. In an ironic twist, suppose they had scheduled the Big Game for that area tomorrow night!!!
As the cold air moved eastward this morning, it was temporarily slowed by the Appalachians, producing the pattern shown on this pressure analysis:
This draft forecast map shows the heaviest snow from the upcoming storm is likely from northern Illinois to northern New England. Tomorrow afternoon, conditions may range from blizzard conditions in central New York to spring style thunderstorms in southern Pennsylvania.
This is the chameleon month of March. Always searching for a sense of identity, its days stagger through punches of waning winter, dance with the sunlit caresses of coming spring and hide behind thick clouds through the wind-swept battles between the two.
In the early to middle part of next week, there could be a hint of spring in the region from Illinois to New Jersey. This is a forecast map for next Tuesday morning. The average rain-snow line is midway between the last blue dashed line and the first red dashed line, and.... is that a daring daffodil???
There is uncertainty about how far north a storm from the Gulf states will come on Friday. This morning's NAM is rather bullish on the system. However, it suggests milder weather for the Northeast for a while this weekend before the next cold front arrives.
Many people have requested some real spring weather in the Northeast. Looking out two weeks with the European model, it still looks chilly on this flow aloft forecast for March 19.
This map shows accumulations as of 8 a.m. They have continued to increase since then in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.