Cold Rain, Snow to Brush Northeast Thursday Night, Friday

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
April 04, 2013; 8:02 PM
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A storm set on bringing chilly, drenching rain to the South and a wintry mix to part of the southern Appalachians will affect part of the mid-Atlantic and will brush the South Coast of New England before the end of the week.

It is not out of the question that a bit of sleet and wet snow is mixed in with the rain for a time from Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Va. to Philadelphia, Dover, Del. and Atlantic City, N.J. Thursday night. Roads should remain wet as the intensity of the precipitation will be light.

While the weather pattern has changed to allow brief episodes of warmth, it has not completely shifted to avoid possible wet snow events in the region just yet.

With the advance of the spring season, the risk of accumulating wet snow along the mid-Atlantic and southeastern New England coast drops off exponentially this month.

It appears the timing of a southern storm with rain will be just a bit off and will track too far to the south to bring much of a threat of wet snow to the major cities of the Northeast.

A chilly rain will affect the I-95 corridor Thursday night into Friday, foiling some outdoor plans. There's a chance a few wet snowflakes mix in over the higher ground over the interior, but the odds are against any significant snowfall. (Photos.com image and thumbnails).

After a warm start to the week, colder air spread from the Great Lakes to the coast in the Northeast Tuesday and will stick around through the week.

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Northeast's Potential Storm Impacts the South into Friday

Only if the southern channel of the jet stream containing a rainstorm syncs with the northern channel containing a disturbance and colder air, then a large storm tracking close to the coast could result.

Such a storm would bring drenching rain on the coast and rain or wet snow inland, depending on elevation.

However, since the two channels of the jet stream are likely to remain separate, the southern storm is most likely to head out to sea. Only a batch of rain brushing southern and coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and southeastern New England. Just like in the Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia areas Thursday night, a bit of sleet and wet snow can be mixed in for a time Friday, but odds are against any accumulation on roads. Chilly, dry air is likely to hold on farther north.

There is a greater chance of the two channels getting together to bring snow to the Gulf of St. Lawrence region of Canada late Friday into Saturday.

The storm will have enough cold air to work with over portions of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina to bring a mixture of rain, sleet and wet snow for a time Thursday night. There can be a up to a few inches of snow in the mountains, mainly on grassy and elevated surfaces. Slippery spots are possible over the high ground.

Beyond the close call with the storm Friday, it appears progressive warmth will win out in much of the East during week two of April. However, much of the West may plunge into chill and stormy conditions into the middle of April as the jet stream drives southward west of the Mississippi River and plays a balancing act.

There is also the potential for sneaky cold air to sag southward from eastern Canada into New England and part of the mid-Atlantic. Areas south of this boundary are likely to have multiple days with highs in the 70s. North of the back door cold front, temperatures may hover in the 30s at high noon with clouds and misty rain.

This shift is not a sign that the East is completely done with chilly weather. Additional fluctuations in the jet stream are likely moving forward into the spring.

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