Joe Lundberg

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Lingering Arctic Air Leading to Plenty of Snow This Week

March 4, 2013; 10:53 AM ET

Monday, 11:20 a.m.

The latest winter storm is in the process of developing over the Plains. There are currently two centers, one over western North Dakota and a second over Oklahoma. By tomorrow, these two will merge into one low pressure area over the Ohio Valley. Here's the 12z NAM forecast for 0z Wednesday:

Now look at the upper-level chart for the same time:

The presence of the high over low block over Quebec down into New England is going to force this storm to take a more southerly route than would otherwise be expected. New England may not completely escape the storm, but it would seem that only southern and easternmost Connecticut into southeastern Massachusetts would stand a chance at getting more than a couple of inches of snow.

Here's the latest thinking of snow amounts through tomorrow:

That, of course, does not include tomorrow night through Wednesday night or Thursday morning. During that time, it could dump snow in the mountains of West Virginia into central and northern Virginia and Maryland. In the mountains, that could mean more than a foot of snow, and areas north and west of Washington, D.C., will probably get more than 6 inches of snow. Farther east, there may be some initial rain because of boundary layer temperature issues thanks to the influence of the Atlantic ocean on the environment. That will definitely cut down on snow amounts along the Delmarva Peninsula into New Jersey, even over southeastern Massachusetts.

This is the latest NAM forecast of total precipitation through Thursday:

Once the storm exits, there will be another 'sloshing' of cold air through the South into the East. Look at the projected temperature anomalies for Thursday:

There is some good news after that, though. There will be a break in the cold, wintry weather pattern late this week and this weekend, as warmer air originating over the eastern Rockies and western Plains later this week will expand across the Plains to the Mississippi Valley, then all the way to the East Coast this weekend into the beginning of next week. It won't be universal, as I anticipate a sneaky attack of cold air to come through the Great Lakes into the Northeast later this weekend. However, I also think it won't be something that leads to the death knell of winter. No, there's plenty of room for more cold air down the road, and probably more snow, too.

To the best of my knowledge, all phone calls to the legendary Punxsutawney Phil have gone unanswered. Rumors have it he's 'vacationing' in Arizona right now, but no one can confirm or deny those rumors.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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Joe Lundberg
Joe Lundberg, a veteran forecaster and meteorologist, covers both short and long-term U.S. weather on this blog.