Sunday to Monday storm to bring snow, ice, rain and then Arctic blast to northeastern US
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 01, 2019, 12:49:16 PM EST
Following patches of snow and a wintry mix into Saturday night, a larger storm is poised to bring heavier snow, ice and rain later in the weekend to Monday.
A few storms will affect the Northeast into Saturday night with up to 6 inches of snow in some locations.
The big storm that follows later Sunday to Monday will bring rain to some areas that get snow from Friday to Saturday and but also snow to some areas that end up being largely missed by snow to end this week.
Potent storm to bring substantial snow, ice and rain Sunday to early Monday
In response to a new surge of Arctic air forecast to blast into the North Central states into this weekend, a stronger storm will develop over the central Rockies, dip southward slightly over the Plains then turn northeastward.
"The exact track of that storm and magnitude of the lingering cold air in its path will determine the extent and intensity of snow, ice and rain in the Eastern states from Sunday to early Monday," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Travis.
If the storm takes a northeastward path toward the central Appalachians and the upper mid-Atlantic coast as AccuWeather meteorologists suspect (scenario 1), several inches to a foot of snow may fall from parts central Plains to the northern part of the Ohio Valley, the eastern Great Lakes, the Allegheny and Pocono mountains in Pennsylvania and northern New England.
Enough snow to shovel and plow is likely to fall along an approximate 2,000-mile-long path from the Colorado Rockies to Down East Maine.
This northeastward path would allow what little cold air is around to leave quickly and bring mostly rain along the Interstate 95 swath from Washington, D.C., to New York City and Boston. Travel delays would result from snow during the beginning and perhaps near the end of the storm, but the storm would be manageable in the Interstate 95 corridor.
Heavy snow is likely around Denver; Wichita, Kansas; St. Louis; Columbus, Ohio; Albany, New York; Bangor, Maine, and others. Pittsburgh may top its biggest single-storm snowfall of the winter season if more than 4.2 inches of snow is deposited.
As an alternative, a more eastward path by the storm (scenario 2) might result in several inches of wet snow or a heavy wintry mix from the mountains of West Virginia to northern Virginia, northern Maryland, southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, much of New Jersey, southeastern New York state and southern New England.
This more eastward track could bring mostly snow and little to no rain to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and perhaps Boston. Such a path may result in major travel disruptions due to slushy and snow-covered roads and deicing delays with possible flight cancellations at airports.
In both cases, a zone of wintry mix that includes pockets of sleet and freezing rain is likely between the plain rain and snowfall zone.
Download the free AccuWeather app to see whether wintry weather or rain is predicted for your location.
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Regardless of the storm track, the cold blast that follows will bring a new round of discomfort to the Northeast and dangerous cold to the Midwest.
Gusty winds will accompany the leading edge of the Arctic air, and blustery conditions will linger for a couple of days. However, winds are not forecast to be as intense as the hurricane-force gusts that occurred in some areas at the start of this week.
Gusts between 40 and 55 mph are likely over the Upper Midwest and 30 and 45 mph in the Northeast.
Despite more typical blustery conditions, the blast of cold air riding in will be substantially colder than that of this past Sunday and Monday.
The combination of wind, plunging temperatures and other conditions will yield AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures well below zero over the Upper Midwest and northern New England to near-zero to the single digits and teens in the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic coast.
AccuWeather's projection for the cold to ease during the second week in March still seems to be on target.
"More of a west to east flow of air from the Pacific Ocean will set up, which will tend to keep Arctic air to the north and over Canada beginning during the second week of the month," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
"However, since it will be so cold during the first week, the month's end totals may not finish near or above average in the North Central states because there will be too much ground to make up," Pastelok said.
During the first week of March, in the throws of the Arctic blast, temperatures are forecast to be 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit below average in the Midwest and 10-20 degrees below average in the Northeast.
For example, in Chicago, the average high is in the lower 40s, while in New York City the high is in the middle 40s during the first week of March. In both cities, average temperatures trend upward by 10 degrees from the start to the end of the month.
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