Quick-hitting snow may trigger slippery Friday evening commute from DC to New York City

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
December 15, 2017, 11:18:30 PM EST

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A brief burst of snow will spread over the Northeast's Interstate 95 corridor, threatening to create tricky travel as commuters head home into Friday evening.

A storm will form and strengthen just close enough to the coast to throw back moisture in the form of snow along the I-95 corridor.

"This is a situation where an Alberta clipper storm near the Great Lakes hands off just enough energy to spin up a weak coastal storm at the last minute," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Static Quick Snow 3 pm

While a heavy snowfall is not expected, the timing of the snow will be the biggest issue for cities such as New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore and perhaps as far south as Washington, D.C. The snow may fall at a moderate to heavy rate for an hour or two.

Just enough snow will fall to make roads slippery from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore and Salisbury, Maryland; Dover and Wilmington, Delaware; Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Allentown, Pennsylvania; Atlantic City and Morristown, New Jersey; White Plains and Islip, New York; Hartford, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; and Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts.

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The snow will reach part of the Boston metro area as well.

“Roadways can turn from dry to slick, slippery and treacherous within minutes,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott.

This could create a dangerous situation and major travel headaches for commuters. Untreated bridges and overpasses will be the first surfaces to turn icy.

A general 1-3 inches of snow can fall along the upper mid-Atlantic and southern New England coasts, enough for snow shovels and plows to be needed.

Static Snowmap NE Friday Evening 3 pm

North and west of these of areas, a coating to up to an inch of snow will cover the ground.

A slight westward shift in the storm would bring the swath of accumulating snow farther inland. The distance between locations that receive a light coating to no snow and several inches of fresh powder could be as little as 25-50 miles.

Since the storm will skirt by at a quick pace, snowfall will be limited to a 3- to 6-hour window in most areas.

While it will dry out for Saturday along the I-95 corridor, people heading out in the morning should be wary of lingering icy patches on roads and sidewalks.

Milder air is set to invade the region early next week.

"The milder air will break the string of Alberta clipper storms," Sosnowski said. "However, a strong temperature contrast may fuel a potentially more disruptive weather pattern for a large part of the United States from the weekend before Christmas through New Year's Day."

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