Blizzard to Lash Eastern New England Saturday

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
February 15, 2014; 8:36 PM
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Into the first part of the weekend, light to moderate snow will push from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic states, but a blizzard is forecast to develop in eastern New England.

The storm has the potential to bring a new round of ground and airline disruptions to parts of the South and East that were hit with the winter storm at midweek.

So far, the storm has been rather weak but it will gain strength Saturday afternoon. Friday and Friday night, the storm brought just enough snow to treat, shovel and plow from parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to much of Kentucky and Tennessee.

The storm brought between 1 and 4 inches over a large part of Iowa and northern Missouri early on Friday. As it traveled across the Midwest on Friday afternoon and night, it brought slightly heavier accumulations to Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Astoria, Ill., was blanketed with 6 inches of fresh snow, as was Friendship, Ohio. Cincinnati, Ohio, had around 5 inches fall.

On the southern edge of the storm, rain and also a wintry mix fell in parts of middle Tennessee, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, central North Carolina and central Virginia on Friday night.

A swath of snow will continue to affect parts of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York during Saturday morning. A couple of inches could fall on parts of these states, with locally higher amounts. The snow could conceal patches of ice beneath.

Snow-covered roads will be an issue for any motorists with weekend travel plans.

Road conditions were deteriorating early on Saturday morning near Pittsburgh, as shown in this traffic cam image from PennDOT

Motorists are advised to exercise caution Saturday morning along major interstates in the mid-Atlantic, including I-68, I-76, I-79, I-81, and I-95. The fresh snow and slush will make for slippery travel. Similar conditions in southeastern Pennsylvania early on Friday morning contributed to a multiple vehicle accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, north of Philadelphia.

This storm will strengthen upon nearing the coast. As this happens, more substantial snow-related problems may begin to unfold.

This new round of snow raises concerns of roof collapses across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic where wintry weather has been common recently. On Friday, the roof of the studio of WGAL Channel 8 in Lancaster, Pa., partially caved in due to the weight of the snow and ice, according to Lancaster Online.

A shield of snow will expand throughout Saturday, first stretching along the Appalachians and then expanding into the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C. to New York City. Several inches of snow should fall across much of this area by Saturday afternoon.

As an area of low pressure strengthens off the coast, heavier snow will develop in much of New England by Saturday night. Rapidly deteriorating conditions are expected from Long Island through Maine.

How much strengthening the storm does just offshore will determine how much snow falls and how strong winds get over Long Island, southeastern New England and the Maritimes. Odds favor windswept snow to develop in part of this area, if not a full-blown blizzard. This includes the city of Boston and Cape Cod, Mass., to coastal Maine.

RELATED:
How to Navigate Winter Storm Flight Delays
Northeast Interactive Radar
Risk of Falls, Accidents to Continue Well After Snowstorms Depart

Major cities that have the best chance at receiving a period or two of accumulating snow from the new storm include Pittsburgh, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

Updates on this storm will continue on AccuWeather.com.

Despite the piling on nature of the storms of late, there is light at the end of the tunnel for warm weather fans and parents dealing with loss of work when kids have an excess number of snow days.

Steering-level winds will shift later next week allowing warmer air now building over the Southwest to expand northward and eastward.

The upcoming pattern will deliver a thaw. In addition to the release of winter's grip in many areas, concerns for ice jam flooding may be raised.

AccuWeather.com Meteorologists Jordan Root and Dan DePodwin contributed to this story.

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