The return to cold weather next week will be anything but straight forward as several storms of various strength and track will swing through.
Cold air will return in stages late this weekend into the end of next week. While that cold air will not have the staying power of much of this past winter, it will be strewn with storm systems. Any of these storms have the potential to bring a surprise snow.
The coldest air will settle in late in the week as the polar vortex is forecast to take another southward dip.
The cumulative nature of the storms may put some communities back in the mode where it is snowing every day or every other day. Budget and salt supply concerns may again arise. As will the potential for more travel and school disruptions.
The first potential snow event appears to be a minor one with a general coating to an inch or two within its reach. Some locations may get just flurries.
This snow will be a rather long and skinny band that will spread from Illinois to around Lake Erie Saturday night.
After this snow band diminishes to spotty rain and snow showers over the Northeast on Sunday, another band of snow will develop Sunday night and spread from northern West Virginia to the northern mid-Atlantic and southern New England.
The best opportunity for the snow to accumulate a coating to an inch--outside of the West Virginia mountains--will be north and west of Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. This snow band will then run south of Boston.
Due to the recent mild temperatures, the snow will initially start as or mix with rain in many locations.
A second and rather weak system will swing eastward from the Midwest Monday night and will cross the Appalachians and reach the East Coast Tuesday.
A third system Tuesday night and Wednesday appears to be the strongest of the bunch through midweek.
According to Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski, "The storm during the middle of next week will travel along the zone of greatest temperature contrast, which right now looks to be from the Tennessee Valley to the lower mid-Atlantic coast."
Many storms have turned out stronger or over-achieved, when compared to early indications.
"If the storm ends up being stronger, it could take more of a northward turn along the Atlantic coast," Pydynowski said.
A stronger storm tracking in this manner would have a greater chance at bringing heavier snow farther north, than a modest storm heading straight out to sea.
In this very challenging weather pattern, the details on the storms may not be available until within a day or two of the actual event and adjustments to the forecast over time is likely.
Benign weather is in the offing for the Pittsburgh area this weekend before the weather pattern turns wintry for the new week.
Benign weather is in the offing for the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas this weekend before the weather pattern turns wintry for the new week.
Dry conditions and above-normal temperatures are expected for Super Bowl Sunday in Santa Clara, California.
The new week will bring more opportunities for snow to create slick travel in the northeastern United States, starting with a winter storm set to sideswipe New England on Monday.
Cold and snow showers are in store for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday but should not significantly impact voter turnout.
As the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers clash for the Super Bowl 50 title in Santa Clara, California, on Sunday, they will do so in one of the most energy-efficient stadiums in the world.
Albuquerque, NM (1986)
6 inches of snow.
Louisville, KY (1998)
22.4 inches of snow (4th-6th).
Lee-Shore snowburst dropped an estimated 6ft.