Heavy Snow Continues to Bury Coastal Mid-Atlantic
By By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist.
March 06, 2015, 8:44:53 AM EST
A storm with a press of cold air will continue to spread heavy snow across the coastal mid-Atlantic into Thursday evening.
Daily activities will be affected for millions of people into Thursday night. Keep track of the storm in our Live Blog.
Major travel disruptions are in store, ranging from snow-clogged roads to many flight delays and cancellations. The flight disruptions will likely extend well beyond areas directly affected by the storm as crews and aircraft are displaced.
The atmosphere is producing a rare event with the current storm. The storm is occurring during a press of cold air invading the Central and Eastern states in the wake of a storm that produced snow and ice earlier in the week.
According to AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "Usually when cold air follows a storm, the atmosphere just dries out."
"Instead of a sweep of cold, dry air, we got the cold, but not the dry this time," he said.
The storm hit portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, as well as the southern parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio with snow and ice on Wednesday into early Thursday.
Heavy snow buried parts of Kentucky, West Virginia and Arkansas and will continue to push eastward Thursday. As of early Thursday morning, areas just south and east of Louisville, Kentucky, have received 14 to 19 inches of snow. The snow will fall heavily at times into Thursday evening from parts of Virginia to Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, southeastern Pennsylvania, southeastern New York state and the southeastern corner of New England.
The storm will head out to sea Thursday night.
Slippery travel will continue through the nighttime hours in many areas. Some flight disruptions may still occur on Friday.
The wet and clinging nature of the snow in some areas has weighed down trees and caused power outages.
Despite the date, several factors have contributed to the nasty road conditions with the storm.
"Where the snow fell during the nighttime and early-morning hours, where it snowed hard at any time or where sleet fell during part of the storm, roads have been at their worst," Abrams said.
Light snow typically struggles to accumulate during the midday hours in March, even with temperatures below freezing. This is due to some of the sun's rays penetrating through the clouds.
A heavy rate of snow can overcome the March sun effect. Some areas have received snowfall at the rate of 1-2 inches per hour, which is more than enough to cover roads during the middle of the day.
In addition to travel problems directly associated with precipitation, a brief but significant push of arctic air near the tail end of the storm will cause areas of standing water and slush to freeze in the East Thursday night, as it did in part of the Central states on Wednesday night.
In some cases, the freeze-up will not wait until late Thursday night. Because of this government cleanup, crews and property owners may want to remove the snow and treat surfaces as soon as possible into Thursday evening.
AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Jordan Root also contributed to this story.
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