Travel-disrupting snow and ice to sweep through Midwest, Northeast at midweek

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
February 06, 2018, 11:06:08 AM EST

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A storm will unleash a swath of snow, ice and slippery travel conditions over the midwestern and northeastern United States through Wednesday.

There is the potential for significant snow and ice accumulations that can disrupt motorists, airline passengers and daily routines. School delays and closings are possible.

“A wintry mess is likely to bring hazardous travel from the central Plains through the Ohio Valley into the Northeast through Wednesday,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Jake Sojda said.

A zone of soaking rain and locally gusty thunderstorms will set up to the south of the wintry precipitation.

Areas sandwiched between the rain and snow are likely to receive an icy mix, according to Sojda.

Potent Storm 2.6 AM

Enough snow to coat roads and ice to glaze elevated surfaces will first target the central and southern Plains on Tuesday. Residents in Omaha, Nebraska; Wichita, Kansas; Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri; and Oklahoma City should prepare for possible slick travel.

On Tuesday night, Chicago, Indianapolis and Detroit could receive just enough snow to create a treacherous Wednesday morning commute. Between 1 and 3 inches of snow is likely to fall in these cities.

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The storm will strengthen as it reaches the Northeast by Wednesday.

“We expect areas north of Interstate 80 over the interior Northeast to receive all snow from this storm and it could fall heavily at times,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll said. “Roads will become snowpacked and slippery.”

The heaviest snow is likely to fall from northern and central Pennsylvania to northern New England, where up to a foot is possible.

Northeast snow map 2.6 AM

A fresh 1-3 inches of snow may fall on part of the Midwest, following the snow at the start of the week.

“South of Interstate 80 and along the southeastern New England coast there will be a transition from snow to a wintry mix, which will also lead to slippery roads,” Doll said.

Those with commutes to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston should use caution as a mixture of snow, sleet and/or freezing rain is possible at the onset of precipitation on Wednesday. A changeover to all rain is expected in these cities later in the day as milder air eventually moves in.

Late Week US Outlook 2.6 AM

“Because this storm will impact many large cities, air travel could be severely impacted with delays and cancellations,” Doll said.

A narrow corridor from part of the Ohio Valley through the central Appalachians, New York’s Hudson Valley and a portion of southeastern New England could experience an extended period of ice. Sporadic tree damage and power outages may occur.

Any minor fluctuation in the storm’s track by a few miles to the north or south will shift the narrow icy zone and corridor of heaviest snow accordingly.

Colder air will sweep southeastward behind the storm, causing any lingering wet and slushy areas to freeze solid.

The active weather pattern shows no sign of letting up in the central and eastern United States as at least two more opportunities for wintry precipitation will arise late this week and this weekend.

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