Wind-Whipped Snow in Northeast, Great Lakes

January 13, 2012; 2:33 PM ET
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<a href="http://www.facebook.com/AccuWeather">AccuWeather.com Facebook fan</a> John F. captured this snowy scene at Millennium Park in Chicago on Thursday.

The powerful storm system that punished the Midwest with snow and wind Thursday will batter the Northeast and Great Lakes to close out the workweek.

Rapidly changing weather conditions are expected across New England today as the storm pulls northeastward. Warm air ahead of the storm will allow precipitation to fall as rain this morning in parts of New York and New England.

By this afternoon, rain will quickly change to snow from southwest to northeast as cold air rushes eastward. Temperatures will plummet below freezing, dropping over 10-20 degrees in just a few hours. This will lead to a flash freeze, causing treacherous travel.

Increasingly windy conditions across the area could topple some power lines and trees.

The snow and wind will combine to significantly reduce visibility across the interior Northeast. Take extra caution if traveling today.

Along the I-95 corridor, gusty winds and brief heavy showers will be the main impact to Boston, Mass. Farther north, wintry weather will produce several inches of snow by tonight.

For a larger version of this map, visit the AccuWeather.com Winter Weather Center.

Early this morning, rain changed to snow across the western half of Pennsylvania with some areas picking up a quick several inches. Steady snow is forecast to continue across the northwestern part of the state with snow showers farther south and east.

Throughout the rest of the day, heavy snow is expected to blanket areas from northern New England to western Pennsylvania. Up to a foot of snow will accumulate just east of Lake Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York. Heavy accumulations are also expected north of the St. Lawrence River Valley in Quebec and east of Lake Ontario.

The cold and snowy conditions will penetrate as far south as Tennessee and North Carolina. While only snow showers are expected, it will bring a taste of winter to places that haven't experienced much this season.

Lake-effect snow will continue in northwestern Indiana and northern Ohio throughout the day, leading to several more inches of accumulation.

This latest arctic blast, while a sharp change from recent weeks, is not record-breaking. However, with gusty winds factored in, AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures will be colder than actual temperatures. The colder weather will also have a shock factor since it has been milder recently.

Daytime temperatures will be about 10-15 degrees below normal across the Great Lakes and Northeast. The negative departures from normal will help offset positive departures so far in 2012.

The temperature in Detroit, Mich., has been 8.2 degrees F above normal for the month so far, while New York, N.Y., has been 5.9 degrees above normal and Boston, Mass., has been 6.2 degrees warmer than average.

The upcoming weekend will stay chilly as high pressure slides over the area. However, a weak Alberta Clipper will bring a few snow showers to the Midwest and Ohio Valley Saturday.

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