Two weeks of winter in two days will continue in the wake of the storm and arctic blast around the Great Lakes today into Saturday.
As the arctic push settles down and steady snow departs western New York and western Pennsylvania early Friday, lake-effect snow will kick into gear downwind of the Great Lakes.
The bands of snow, typical lake-effect, will keep some road crews busy after the transition to cold weather brings icy travel, especially along parts of I-80/90.
According to Lake-Effect Snow Expert Brian Wimer, "A half a foot to a foot of snow may fall in the snowbelts of northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York, south of Buffalo Friday afternoon into Saturday, after the snow from the Arctic front."
Winds will average west to northwest over the eastern Great Lakes.
Other snowbelts downwind of lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior on a north to northwest flow will pick up several inches to a half a foot of snow.
Outside of the snow belts, the flurries and squalls should decrease in number and intensity across the Great Lakes today and tonight.
According to Long Range Weather Expert Paul Pastelok, "Because the waters of the Great Lakes are so warm and there is a lack of ice this winter, heavy lake-effect snow events may be common right into March."
While lake effect does occur when most of the lakes are frozen over due to frictional differences between the smooth ice and bumpy land, there is much more energy released when the lakes are unfrozen.
Detroit will get a break from snow around the middle of the week, as milder air arrives for the city.
Warm air is forecast to surge into much of the eastern half of the nation by the weekend and will be accompanied by heavy rain and flooding risk in some locations.
As warmer air pays a brief visit to the Central and Eastern states, delays from rain, fog, ice and snow will be on the increase this weekend for early holiday travelers.
A parade of snowstorms has been taking aim at the U.S. recently, increasing the chances for many to see a White Christmas.
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