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Northeastern US to dodge major snowstorm on Friday

By By Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist
January 29, 2016, 12:04:36 AM EST

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There is great news for the snow-weary in the wake of the Blizzard of 2016 as a storm over the Atlantic Ocean will bypass most of the eastern United States on Friday.

The latest indications are that while the storm will track northeastward on Friday, it will do so a couple of hundred miles offshore. The storm will strengthen slowly enough so that heavy snow misses the mid-Atlantic and much of New England. However, a weaker storm will spread flurries and snow squalls across the region.

Areas that received heavy snowfall from the Blizzard of 2016 will continue to deal with evening freeze-ups and black ice.

Weaker system to push bigger snowstorm out to sea

According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, an Alberta Clipper system will be the driving force behind pushing the big storm out to sea.


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An Alberta Clipper is a storm system that originates from western Canada, near the province of Alberta. These fast-moving, often moisture-starved systems can bring light to moderate snow and rain.

"The clipper storm will sweep through with snow showers in the Northeast on Friday," Abrams said.

The clipper storm can produce a brief period of accumulating snow or snow squalls from the central Appalachians to southern New England, including Boston on Friday.

The snow showers can be heavy enough in parts of the Interstate-76, I-80, I-81, I-90 and I-99 corridors to coat road surfaces. The slippery conditions are most likely to occur over the higher elevations.

A moderate snowfall is possible in parts of Maine and New Brunswick later Friday into Saturday as the two systems slowly begin to merge.

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Heavy snow and wind are possible in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland during Friday night into Saturday.

Black ice danger to continue through the weekend in blizzard-ravaged areas

In the absence of additional significant snowfall, rounds of melting and freezing conditions will cause patchy black ice to form in areas hit by the Blizzard of 2016.


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The icy patches will be most common over the countryside and in the suburbs but can also form in the most urban areas of the major cities.

Even as some waves of chilly air will flow into the Northeast through the weekend, temperatures in many areas will still reach or exceed the freezing mark during the daylight hours. Most locations will drop below freezing at night.

Runoff will be produced by the melting piles of snow and compacted snow and ice on side streets and parking lots during the midday and afternoon. The runoff can cause ice melting compounds to become dilute and lose effectiveness.

Motorists and pedestrians should be wary of surfaces that appear wet from the evening to the early daylight. A thin sheen of ice may be present.

Ice is more slippery at temperatures near freezing, compared to temperatures in the 20s or lower.


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