2nd winterlike storm of week to bring snow, ice and rain to eastern US from Wednesday night to Friday
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
November 14, 2018, 11:03:23 AM EST
A storm with snow, ice and rain will bring travel disruptions from the Midwest and southern United States to the Northeast spanning Wednesday night to Friday.
Motorists and airline passengers in much of the eastern U.S. should be prepared for more delays as a second winterlike storm for this week runs its course ahead of the surge in travel around Thanksgiving. There may be school delays, early dismissals and even closings.
A weather pattern more typical of late December or early January will persist across much of the eastern U.S. this week. The pattern not only features much colder-than-average conditions for the middle of November, but is also packed with winter-like storms.
Following the most recent, early-week storm with snow, ice and rain, a second storm will take a similar path from the Gulf of Mexico to southeastern Canada during the middle to latter part of this week.
However, this new storm will have colder air on both its front and back sides when compared to the early-week storm. That colder air will have significant consequences in terms of the form of precipitation.
A snow shovel and snow brush may be valuable tools, and plowing operations may need to be initiated due to the potential for several inches of snow in some areas with this storm.
With the wide variety of weather conditions expected this week, download the free AccuWeather app to see what conditions are in store as well as the timing of rain and any ice and snow for your area.
Potential for snow, ice in more places with this storm
"With the lower temperatures initially and at the end, the new storm will bring more snow and ice to more places in the South, Midwest and Northeast than the storm earlier in the week," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek.
The setup will allow an icy mix to spread northward in a zone from western North Carolina to part of western Virginia, northeastern West Virginia, central and western Maryland and a large part of central and southern Pennsylvania spanning Wednesday night to Thursday.
Travel along much of the I-81 corridor over the southern and central Appalachians may be difficult and dangerous, especially on bridges and overpasses. In addition, enough ice may accumulate to bring down trees and power lines and cause power outages.
Along the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington, D.C. to Boston, the bulk of this storm will be in the form of rain. However, AccuWeather meteorologists anticipate a wintry mix at the onset of the storm.
Not only may there be the first snowflakes of the season for much of the I-95 swath, but there is also the potential for the first accumulation and slippery travel event of the autumn. A coating to an inch or two of snow, slush and some ice may occur, with the greatest amounts in the northern and western suburbs.
"Since it may precipitate hard at the onset, when temperatures are near or below freezing in the I-95 zone from Washington, D.C. on up, there can be a quick accumulation that makes some roads slippery," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno.
The first places to get slippery will be areas that are shaded from direct sunlight, as well as bridges and overpasses. Where leaves have fallen and remain on roads and sidewalks, a quick accumulation of snow and ice will make these surfaces especially slippery.
Farther west, an area of snow and wintry mix is also forecast to develop over parts of the Ohio Valley, Ozark Mountains and the lower Mississippi Valley on Thursday.
Road conditions may become slippery from northern Arkansas and southern Missouri to portions of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, western Tennessee and western Kentucky. This is especially true where sleet occurs or snow falls at a heavy rate.
During Thursday night to Friday, a greater amount of snow and some ice can be expected across parts of northern and central Pennsylvania, part of northern New Jersey, western, central and northern New York state and central and northern New England.
In some of these locations, there may not ever be a changeover to plain rain.
Rain, wind and thunderstorms to bring share of travel delays
Along much of the Atlantic seaboard, from Florida to southeastern Massachusetts, the height of the storm will bring drenching rain. Enough rain may fall to bring a renewed risk of flash and urban flooding.
The rain, combined with gusty winds and a low cloud ceiling, can put airlines behind schedule and force motorists to slow down for safety concerns.
From the Florida Peninsula to eastern North Carolina, there may be locally severe thunderstorms with strong wind gusts.
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In the Northeast, winds may kick up enough on the front side of the storm to cause a several-hour period of above-normal tides and minor coastal flooding.
Cold press on tail end of storm may push snow eastward
During Thursday night, a wintry mix is forecast to spread into part of southern Michigan and southwestern Ontario.
"On Friday, colder air will invade the storm and cause rain or a wintry mix to change back over to snow over parts of the Ohio Valley and central Appalachians," Dombek said.
This swath of snow is likely to become heavier and more widespread from parts of northern and western Pennsylvania to northern and western New York state and New England from Friday into Friday night. There is the potential for several inches of snow in some locations, especially over the higher elevations.
There is also the potential for snow or a wintry mix to reach toward the Interstate 95 corridor from northern Virginia to southeastern New England on Friday.
"Typically, storms of this nature just end as rain in the I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England," Dombek said.
This is due to a relatively warm ocean this time of the year and a sweep of dry air at the end of storms.
"However, this could be one of those less common instances where it tries to change to snow at the tail end," Dombek said.
In the wake of the storm, some lake-effect snow will follow over parts of the Upper Midwest to the central and northern Appalachians on Saturday.
A weak storm may also swing across the same region with spotty light snow and flurries during Saturday night and Sunday as waves of chilly air continue to flow down from central Canada.
However, on a positive note for the storm-weary and the upcoming holiday travel surge, the overall pattern from this weekend to next Wednesday is forecast to bring a lack of large-scale and widespread travel disruptions.
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