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Icy air may set stage for days of slippery roads, more snowstorms in wake of the eastern US blizzard

By By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist.
January 25, 2016, 12:39:58 AM EST

Enough chilly air will remain in the wake of the mid-Atlantic blizzard to produce slippery conditions for days and to lay down the potential for another storm during the last week of January.

The weekend blizzard will put down a large swath of snow that will be 1-3 feet deep with higher drifts over some areas of the mid-Atlantic.

While no big arctic blasts are foreseen in the coming days, the air will remain cold enough to cause some short-term and long-term problems.

The large, deep snow cover will reflect sunlight and have the effect of an old-fashioned ice box.

Melting and freezing may lead to black ice

Some melting of snow will take place during the daytime hours. However, areas made wet by the melting will freeze at night.

As a result, motorists and pedestrians should be on the lookout for areas of black ice that can develop as soon as the sun goes down and linger into the start of the day. Areas that appear wet may in fact be icy.

The melting and freezing cycles will be of concern from the middle part of the Mississippi and lower Ohio valleys to the mid-Atlantic and southern New England.


According to AccuWeather Chief Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok, "The snow will melt the fastest over the Midwest and interior South, but until it melts, it can hold back temperatures."

Temperatures are likely to average 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit below normal into the first part of next week.

Highs will generally be no higher than the 30s, where snow remains on the ground for a couple of days. Nighttime lows will be in the teens and 20s in the major cities from Tennessee and Kentucky to Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. Some rural areas could have temperatures dip into the single digits, where there is a deep snowcover.

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Additional winter storms to aim at eastern USLooking farther ahead, Pastelok remains concerned about the potential for another major winter storm in the Eastern states next week.

"Centered around Jan. 28, the overall pattern supports the possibility that a big storm could form near the Atlantic coast or over the eastern United States rather than out to sea," Pastelok said. "While it is far too early to say for sure about that storm, there would be a way for a storm to track much farther north, when compared to the storm late this week."


Milder air in place by Thursday and Friday of next week could result in mostly rain instead of snow near the coast. Snow might be restricted to inland areas should an Atlantic Seaboard storm come calling next week.

"As for February in the East, we don't anticipate many big storms, but rather a lot of smaller and weaker systems most of the month," Pastelok said. "However, another pulse of big storms is possible late in the month and into early March, which could be the caboose of the winter."

Pastelok stated that while it appears another cold blast may charge southward from the Arctic during the second week of February, it appears to be directed at the Rockies and Plains, rather than the eastern states.

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