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    Northeast Snowy Trick or Treat

    By By Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist.
    October 28, 2011, 1:38:17 AM EDT

    The atmosphere could play a snowy trick (or treat) on parts of the Northeast prior to Halloween.

    The same storm forecast to clobber Colorado with heavy snow will also visit the Northeast later this week. Some people may do a double take when they peer out the window Thursday.

    The storm will begin as rain in the vast majority of locations, even in the mountains.

    If a heavy, wet snowstorm were to evolve, it could greatly slow travel and cut the power in some interior and high-elevation areas.

    Places in the Northeast that have the best shot at some accumulating wet snow include the mountains from northern and western Pennsylvania to upstate New York and interior New England Thursday into Thursday night. This zone includes the higher elevations along interstates 80, 81, 88, 89 and 90.

    The storm has the potential to bring just a bit of slush to as much as a half a foot of the white stuff to the mountains.

    According to Northeast Expert Meteorologist Dave Dombek, "The amount of snow that accumulates will depend on elevation."

    The higher the elevation, the colder it is and more snow is likely.

    Temperatures over interior, valley locations will probably be too high to support a significant accumulation. So even if it does snow, it could melt as it falls. This is what makes "elevation storms" like this so challenging.

    "It would have to snow very hard to accumulate in the lower elevations of the interior Northeast and that does not appear likely with this storm," Dombek said.

    The AccuWeather.com forecast calls for rain to fall over the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

    Thunderstorms may also accompany the dynamic storm system.

    Rain can cause its share of delays on the highways, and when combined with fallen leaves, this may lead to blocked storm drains. Low ceilings and fog may also lead to delays at the airports.

    Despite mild conditions to start the week in the Northeast, a push of cold air will arrive fresh on the scene during, ahead and following the storm.

    Another problem interior areas of the Northeast may face with this storm when combined with heavy wet snow is the large amount of leaves still on the trees.

    This autumn, very wet weather and above-average temperatures have delayed the natural dormancy of vegetation and progression of the foliage by up to a few weeks.

    If indeed a heavy, wet snowstorm materializes from northern Pennsylvania to interior New England, a large number of downed trees, limbs and power lines can result even with just a few inches of snow.

    Such a storm could not only clog some streets and secondary roads with snow, but also tree-lined streets and rural roads could be blocked with downed limbs and wires.

    Just as snow is not uncommon for Colorado during October, it is also not so uncommon for the mountains of the Northeast during the same month.

    According to Winter Weather Expert Brian Wimer, "Accumulating snow falls, on average, every other October in northern New England and every third or fourth October in the mountains of New York state and northern and western Pennsylvania."

    Meteorologist Meghan Evans has more on the "scary storm."

    Despite the above-average temperatures during much of October in the Northeast, it looks as though much colder weather is coming in for the last few days of October into the first part of November in the wake of the storm.

    There is some indication, although far from a certainty at this point, that a second storm could bring another dose of accumulating snow to part of the Northeast spanning late Friday into Saturday.

    Odds favor that second storm tracking farther to the east than the first.

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