Friday 11 a.m.
The storm that unleashed a blizzard in the central Plains has weakened as expected. The low pressure area will be moving over the upper Great Lakes tonight and tomorrow morning then will drift toward the St. Lawrence Valley. Dry air has punched eastward from Illinois through Ohio, and that will help limit how much precipitation there can be between Washington, D.C., and New York City later today and tonight. However, with temperatures not far from the freezing mark, it pays to be alert for slippery conditions tonight, especially in the northern and western suburbs of those cities.
Tomorrow and tomorrow night, a low pressure area will take shape off the Middle Atlantic coast. Rain is likely in the I95 corridor from this storm tomorrow. The remains of the northern storm may cause some snow from central and eastern New York state into parts of New England tomorrow, with light accumulations possible. As the coastal storm strengthens into a full-blown nor'easter on Sunday morning, a band of heavy snow seems likely from eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island through Massachusetts, New Hampshire and southern Maine. In the southeasternmost portion of that area, temperatures will be borderline between rain and snow... and the outcome will greatly affect how much snow can accumulate. Places that get all snow can get more than 8 inches.
Early next week, another storm will move northeast from the southern Plains. While a lot of mild air will be pulled northward ahead of the storm, strong cooling will be taking place aloft from west to east. This could mean accumulating snow all the way from Iowa and Illinois to the mountains of Pennsylvania. The storm may get blocked as it heads toward eastern Canada. If that happens, there can be a multi-day siege of wind and chilly for the Great Lakes and much of the Northeast, with snow showers downwind from the Great Lakes into the mountains. This kind of setup will cause many people to long for spring, but I know Sam the Dog will appreciate any snow that gives him the opportunity to go "snow-bathing."
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.