Weekend Snowstorm Ohio Valley to New England

February 4, 2011; 6:32 AM ET
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In case you haven't heard, a winter storm already hitting the South will visit some areas up North spanning Friday night and Saturday.

Regardless of the form of precipitation in New England, the Saturday storm will add more weight to already stressed roofs.

The storm will bypass areas hit hardest by the Groundhog Blizzard, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago and Detroit.

A swath of a coating to as much as 3 inches of snow is likely in portions of the Tennessee and Ohio valleys, the central Appalachians and the eastern Great Lakes, including Buffalo, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, Louisville, Pittsburgh and State College.

Snowfall totals will trend upward from northern Pennsylvania through central and northern New England, as the storm will get a bit stronger upon tracking upon reaching the mid-Atlantic shore.

Portions of New England could be looking at another 6- to perhaps 10-inch snowfall, including the Maine coast, central and southern New Hampshire, southern Vermont, northwestern Massachusetts and part of the Hudson Valley and Catskills of New York.

For areas from Atlanta to Columbia, Charlotte, Raleigh, Richmond and Washington, D.C., south and east, this will be a rainstorm.

A wintry mix will fall in the southern Appalachians, the northern and western suburbs of Washington, D.C., and the greater Baltimore, Wilmington and Philadelphia areas with little or no accumulation.

More substantial problems due to a wintry mix are possible from the suburbs north of Baltimore, to north and west of Philadelphia, in much of the New York City Metropolitan area, and along the southern coast of New England, where a coating to an inch or so of snow and slush can accumulate.

North and west of the I-95 slot from Philadelphia is where accumulations will trend upward due to progressively lower temperatures and more substantial precipitation rates.

A Nuisance for Many

For much of this event, there does not appear to be a setup for a major ice storm, but rather a switch from snow to rain and back, with only a bit of sleet and freezing rain.

The ice event that hit these areas hard on Groundhog Day morning is not likely to be repeated in York, Reading, and Allentown with this storm.

For most people, this storm will tend to fall into the nuisance category, compared to the monster storms this winter.

Fortunately, this storm is what meteorologists call an "open wave," and as a result, it should be a steady, swift-mover. In addition, where snow falls during the day Saturday, temperatures will be near or above freezing. Therefore, if roads are treated at the right time, they should be mainly wet.

The storm will not start until after the evening rush hour Friday from Cincinnati to Baltimore. The storm will start from New York City to Rochester around daybreak Saturday, and in Boston around lunchtime Saturday. For most places, this will be an 8- to 12-hour event.

Problems for Some

The storm will still cause travel delays and some deicing issues at airports from the South to part of the Midwest and Northeast.

AccuWeather.com warned the people of southern New England weeks ago of the risk of roof failures moving forward in this winter.

Every bit of snow, ice and rain is a problem, as it will add more weight to roofs, pushing some to the point of failure. There were over a dozen new roof failures in southern New England Wednesday.

Layers of snow and ice must be removed from flat roofs to avoid this danger.

Remember, adjustments may be made to snowfall totals predicted, as they are sensitive to exact storm track, any change in temperature by a couple of degrees, and start/end times of the precipitation. You can always get your latest local forecast at AccuWeather.com.


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