Storm to bring widespread snow, rain and travel disruptions across eastern half of US this week
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
November 11, 2018, 5:55:34 AM EST
A large storm is forecast to affect much of the eastern half of the nation during the first part of next week with rain and even snow for parts of the South, Midwest and Northeast.
While a storm well short of a blockbuster event is forecast, the far-reaching effects of the storm are likely to impact travel at many of the major hubs from Dallas and Atlanta to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City, Boston and Detroit.
A period of poor visibility and low cloud ceiling is likely to result in airline delays as the arrival and departure of aircraft must be spaced out much more so than during clear conditions.
Motorists can expect wet conditions with blowing spray and ponding in poor drainage areas along interstates 10, 20, 77, 81, 85 and 95.
The storm will come together and gather moisture over the Gulf of Mexico on Monday and ride northeastward during Monday night and Tuesday.
The storm will be a rain event for most of the South and the Eastern Seaboard, but some snow is forecast on the northwestern flank and there is the potential for strong to locally severe thunderstorms in the warm and humid air over the Deep South.
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Due to the saturated state of the ground and fallen leaves blocking storm sewers, even a moderate amount of rain can lead to flooding in poor drainage areas and along small streams from northern Florida to Massachusetts and the Maritime Provinces of Canada.
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Thanks to prevailing cold air and a reinforcing boost of the same, a swath of snow is forecast to develop over areas from Colorado to northwestern Texas and extend northeastward across part of the middle Mississippi Valley, the Ohio Valley and the central and eastern Great Lakes region.
Snow can mix with or change to sleet across the interior of northern New England. Even if a change to rain occurs during the height of the storm in this area on Tuesday, several inches of snow and sleet may fall beforehand.
There can also be snow showers over the spine of the Appalachians and the western slopes of the mountain chain during the last part of the storm spanning Tuesday and Tuesday night.
As a result of the wintry aspect of the storm, motorists should be prepared for a wide variety of weather conditions ranging from rain to ice and snow along portions of interstates 35, 40, 70, 80, 81, 87, 90 and 91.
The fast-moving nature of this storm will limit any coastal flooding issues to a few hours on the front side of the storm.
However, in the storm's wake, winds will increase from the north and west, which will drive cold air from the Plains and Midwest to deep into the South and off the Eastern Seaboard.
Winds on the back side of the storm may be strong enough from Minneapolis and Chicago to Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C., to lead to airline delays once again. The gusty nature of the winds may also lead to sporadic power outages.
"Another lake-effect snow event with dangerous travel can ensue from west to east downwind of the Great Lakes as the cold winds blow over the milder lakes," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.
The flow of air over the Great Lakes could set up a significant snow band right over Syracuse, New York, late Tuesday night into Wednesday, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun.
There is a chance of a frost of freeze near or just north of the upper Gulf coast during the middle to latter part of the week as winds ease up and the sky becomes clear.
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