April Appalachian Snowstorm, I-80 Corridor Mess

April 23, 2012; 12:10 PM ET
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This story has been updated. For the latest on the snow portion of the storm refer to "Snowstorm Buries Central Appalachians." For the latest on the rain that fell from the storm consult "Storm Quenches I-95 Thirst for Rain."

An April Appalachian snowstorm will bring difficult travel on I-80 and other highways from West Virginia to western Pennsylvania, western New York and neighboring Canada to start the week.

In addition to I-80, I-68 in West Virginia and western Maryland will be impacted by snow, as well the turnpike and U.S. 22, 322 and 422 in western Pennsylvania and I-86 in western New York.

Many street and highway departments have switched to summer maintenance procedures. Most plows are off the trucks. While most of the snow will not stick to roads, there will be some exceptions.

In the Northeast, the year without a winter began with a freak snowstorm in late October and it seems it will end with with one during the second half of April.

The amount of snow that accumulates will depend on elevation with wooded and grassy areas in the higher terrain picking up the biggest accumulation.

While April snow is rare and tends to melt on paved surfaces, it will come down at such a rate to create a heavy slushy accumulation on roads over the high ground.

In the highest elevations the heavy rate of snowfall can overwhelm warm pavement leading to a quick, slippery accumulation. A foot or more of snow can fall over the ridges.

However, several inches of snow can also accumulate on grassy areas and on trees in lower elevations in the swath.

Bridges and overpasses will lose heat the quickest in the mountains and in some of the valleys. Extra caution is advised over these surfaces.

The greatest concern is for the potential of the heavy wet snow to down trees and power lines.

On the extreme end of possibilities with the storm, areas from the mountains of West Virginia northward to parts of southern Ontario and western Quebec could resemble a war zone with great carnage to forests, wooded neighborhoods and parklands.

Because of this, travel through wooded areas of secondary roads and walking down wooded streets could be very dangerous.

In the worst case scenario, some secondary roads could close due to the danger of falling and fallen trees. Power could be out for an extended time.

Trees have begun to leaf out due to the warm weather in recent months and most recently the rain that fell during the first part of the weekend acting like a booster shot to foliage.

At the very least, some folks living in the Appalachian areas aforementioned will have to clean snow off their car on Monday. Elevated walking areas can be covered with slush.

Tree surgeons, utility companies and clean-up crews may be busy next week.

The storm will also pack a punch farther east. Northern sections of the Northeast will be hit with torrential rain, poor drainage area flooding and downed trees from strong winds.

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