Snowy Start to the Weekend New York City to Boston

February 11, 2012; 5:00 AM ET
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While there will be some gaps in the swath of snow from west to east, some streets and highways will get slippery for a time later Friday evening into Saturday. What snow falls may lay around through the weekend, due to colder air coming in. ( photo)

Several events are combining to bring areas of accumulating snow, flurries and colder weather across the eastern Great Lakes, the mid-Atlantic and New England at the start of this weekend.

The combination of a strengthening storm, upper-level disturbances and an arctic cold front are leading to two bands of snow spreading across the three regions today.

As we stated earlier this week, it is much more complex than a storm developing off the coast and heading out to sea with cold, dry air sweeping in.

An arctic cold front is invading the area. Normally, this sort of feature would have trouble producing flurries. However, there is some extra energy available in the atmosphere.

1. Coastal Storm

A storm will continue to strengthen off the Northeast coast today, putting down a swath of accumulating snow from part of the Delmarva Peninsula, New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania through the New York Metropolitan area to eastern New England.

A light coating of snow is possible outside of the gray areas on this map in parts of the Midwest, southeastern Virginia, the Delmarva Peninsula and portions of northern New England. A larger version of this map is available on the Winter Weather Center.

The greatest amount of snow will fall from portions of Long Island to Down East Maine.

The storm will then go on to clobber Atlantic Canada as a major snow, wind and rainstorm later in the weekend.

2. Cold Front, Lake-Effect Snow and a Disturbance

A cold front, upper-level disturbance and lake effect are working together to bring a swath of snow from southwestern Ontario to the central Appalachians. Some areas will pick up a half of a foot of snow.

The southern track of the disturbance will result in little or no snow on the north shores of lakes Ontario and Huron, eastward to northern upstate New York to northwestern Maine.

Snow showers from the disturbance can reach as far south as southern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula this afternoon and evening.

3. Arctic Air and Freeze-Up

Plunging temperatures in the wake of the storm and the disturbance, as well as during the lake-effect snow can lead to slippery travel.

The rate of snowfall with the storm in New England will determine how much snow accumulates on the roads.

Elsewhere, it is the cold air pouring in this weekend that will cause wet and slushy areas to freeze.

It is in areas such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Detroit and Cincinnati were the potential for black ice may overshadow the small amount of snow received.

A second wave of arctic air will dip southward across Quebec tonight. Sunday will be very cold over much of New England as a result.


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