Snowstorm to impede travel from Chicago, Detroit to Albany into Friday evening

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 09, 2018, 12:00:00 PM EST

  • Major flight delays and cancellations are likely in Chicago and Detroit through Friday.
  • A heavy rate of snow will clog streets and highways in the Interstate 80, 90 and 94 corridors in the Midwest.
  • Major disruptions to daily activities are likely with the potential for numerous school cancellations.
  • Snow may fall for 24 hours in some locations.

A high-impact snowstorm will slam areas from eastern Iowa to southwestern Ontario with a heavy accumulation to end this week.

Fresh snow will also cover areas from northern Pennsylvania and New York state to northern New England on top of the 2-14 inches of snow and ice that fell on Wednesday and Wednesday evening.

Heaviest snow to fall from Chicago to Detroit

The storm is likely to bring the single-biggest accumulation to Chicago and Detroit, where 6-12 inches of snow is forecast to fall over a 24-hour period. As of the midday hours on Friday, it appears the storm has delivered snowfall within or approaching this range with more snow yet to fall.

Midwest Snow 2.9 AM

The snowstorm will stay south of Minneapolis and north of St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri; Indianapolis; and Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.

Heavy snow began to fall on parts of central and eastern Montana during Wednesday night. Flurries will streak eastward and evolve into steadier and heavier snow through Friday.

The Friday morning and Friday evening rush hours will be a winter wonderland in both Chicago and Detroit, as well as Milwaukee, London, Ontario, and Lansing, Michigan.

Midwest snow map 2.9 AM

Major airline delays are likely at the airports due to deicing operations. Additional flight cancellations are also likely as runways become clogged with snow. As of Friday midday, Chicago O'Hare Airport was reporting that more than 750 flights had been cancelled from the storm thus far. Chicago Midway Airport was reporting close to 300 flight cancellations.

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Ripple-effect flight delays, changes and cancellations may occur across the nation as crew and aircraft are displaced due to the impact on the major airports at Chicago and Detroit.

Few inches of snow to fall on part of northeastern US

The intensity of the snow will be much less in the Northeast, when compared to the Midwest. This snowfall is also projected to stay north of Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

However, since the snow will fall over a broad area of the northern tier, motorists traveling long distances should expect to lengthen their trip by several hours to navigate slippery and snow-covered roads.

The most significant impacts in the Northeast will be along part of I-90 in New York state, while snowy and slippery travel is also likely along Canada's Highway 401.

Snow is likely to begin in northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York state by Friday morning.

Static NE Friday Snow

Snow will then spread eastward during the day Friday across northern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and northern New England in part of this area, snow may continue through Friday night and into Saturday morning.

From 3-6 inches of snow is forecast to fall on Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester, New York, with similar amounts possible over the Adirondack Mountains farther to the east.

Enough snow is forecast to fall to make roads slippery around Albany, New York; Burlington, Vermont; and Montreal from later Friday through Friday night.

Another, warmer storm with rain, ice and snow will follow on the heels of the late-week storm in the Midwest and Northeast. Some people may not have time to dig out before the next round of snow hits.

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