Midwest, Northeast: Watching for a Storm Next Week

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
March 13, 2013; 6:00 AM ET
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This story has been replaced by a new story on AccuWeather.com: "New Disruptive Snowstorm Northwest to Northeast."

Another storm currently over the northern Pacific may cause cross-country trouble next week, from the northern Rockies to the Midwest and Northeast.

Early indications are that the storm will grow large and strong after negotiating the Rockies this weekend.

It will have an opportunity to tap into Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic moisture as it progresses eastward during the first part of next week.

A storm of this nature has the potential to bring strong wind as well as areas of heavy snow on its northern flank, strong thunderstorms on its southern flank and drenching rain in the middle.

Like many storms a week or so away, the track is key to determining where the boundary of rain and snow will set up and how quickly any places would change from rain to snow or vice versa.

At this early stage, odds favor big snow from the storm to run north of Denver. A heavy amount of snow could fall over portions of Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas with wind, poor visibility and perhaps whiteout conditions for a time later Sunday into Monday.

However, whether the rain/snow line ends up north of particular major cities in the Midwest early next week is uncertain as how quickly the storm matures holds the key.

According to Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "In the East, odds favor rain over accumulating snow from I-95 to the shoreline, but it gets tricky for the northern and western suburbs of most of the major cities in this swath and into the central and northern Appalachians."

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At this point, we can say that there is the potential for travel disruptions and foiled plans over a heavily populated area of the nation beginning later this weekend and continuing into early next week over the Midwest then the Northeast toward the middle of the week. If you have a flight into or out of these areas, you will want to keep an eye on it.

One outlying scenario to watch for is the potential for redevelopment of the storm as it nears the East Coast. Typically, a storm moving from west to east does not pose a big threat for coastal wind and storm surge flooding. However, if the storm were to reorganize and strengthen rapidly near the coast, some very vulnerable areas could be attacked from the sea once again with the risk of further damage.

At least the timing of the storm would not coincide with the full moon and associated astronomical effects thereof. The next full moon occurs around March 27 at 5:29 a.m. EDT.

"As the major storm from last week demonstrated, a matter of a couple of degrees, storm track and strength can bring a wide range of weather conditions ranging from heavy rain to heavy snow in a matter of a few miles," Abrams said.

Concerns may not be limited to localized heavy snow and storm surge.

With the onslaught of storms of late and their rain and now melting snow, there is a risk of stream and river flooding problems, as demonstrated by relatively minor issues in portions of Iowa, Virginia and New England recently.

This is a issue AccuWeather.com meteorologists and National Weather Service hydrologists will be watching closely. It is possible there may be just enough separation between storms and melting snow to prevent major or widespread problems with river flooding.

A couple of smaller, weaker storms moving quickly along ahead of the big storm will bring pockets of snow, rain and both to portions of the Midwest through the end of the week and into the weekend.

Just like their stronger cousins, the weaker storms can still bring heavy, accumulating snow to some locations, given the right conditions at the right time of the day.

An Alberta Clipper storm will spread a swath of snow across the northern tier Friday into Saturday.

Thumbnail image by Photos.com

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