Heavy snow, ice may halt travel in northeastern, midwestern US at midweek

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 08, 2018, 4:26:24 AM EST

Major travel disruptions will unfold as a storm is set to deliver heavy snow and a slippery, icy mix to the midwestern and northeastern United States through Wednesday night.

While a blockbuster storm is not anticipated, it will be potent enough to have a substantial effect on daily activities.

"Snow and sleet may occur at a very fast rate for a time," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams. "As a result, it may be difficult for road crews to keep up, and some motorists may get stuck on the roads."

Airline passengers should anticipate flight delays and possible cancellations at the major hubs, including Chicago, Detroit and Boston.

There is the likelihood of at least airline delays at Newark, New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis due to aircraft deicing operations.

Static Wed Night Storm NE

Because of the vast scope of the storm, ripple-effect airline delays and flight cancellations may occur in areas experiencing rain in the South and dry weather in the West, since crews and aircraft may be displaced by the storm.

Enough snow to shovel and plow has fallen on much of Ohio, northern Pennsylvania and central New York state. Similar snowfall is projected from much of eastern New York state, north of New York City, through central and northern New England from the storm into Wednesday evening.

Many schools may be closed, delayed or dismissed early as a result of the far-reaching storm.

Static NE Snowfall Map 3 pm

Motorists can expect long stretches of Interstates 79, 80, 81, 84, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 93 and the northern part of I-95 to be snow-covered and slippery.

Farther south, enough mild air will move in aloft to cause snow to transition to sleet and freezing rain for a time from the central Appalachians to central New England.

The duration of the ice in this zone will vary. However, enough ice is anticipated to make roads and sidewalks slippery. In localized areas of southeastern New York state and southern New England, enough ice may accrue to weigh down trees and cause power outages.

Snow and ice transitioned to rain from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston. However, portions of I-64, I-68, I-70, I-76 and I-78 may remain slippery.

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As precipitation ends from west to east intoWednesday night, a freeze-up will follow. The temperature plunge occurred during Wednesday over parts of the Central states but will wait until Wednesday night into Thursday morning from the Appalachians to the coastal Northeast.

Eagles fans heading to the victory parade in Philadelphia on Thursday should be prepared for icy roads on their travels, as well as slippery conditions on the side streets and sidewalks in the city.

Because of the black ice risk and/or the amount of snow, additional travel problems and school delays and closings are possible on Thursday.

Over the next couple of weeks, the weather pattern favors more storms of frequent nature. While the trend will be for warmer precipitation events in the Northeast, some ice and snow are still in the offing, and more winter storms will target the Midwest.

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