Weekend Snow, Ice to Threaten Northeast; Snow to Continue in Rockies
By By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist.
February 22, 2015, 9:58:48 PM EST
A storm that originated over the southern Plains will spread a swath of disruptive snow, ice and rain from the Midwest to the East this weekend.
A swath of snow and ice will end up falling along a path topping 1,800 miles from Wyoming and Colorado to Massachusetts and Maine, as the storm breaks into multiple parts.
The storm will affect more than a thousand-mile stretch of Interstate-70 alone in the Rockies, Midwest and Appalachians.
A slew of travel problems were already being produced by the storm ranging from icy and snow-covered roads to airline delays and flight cancellations.
While this will be a warmer storm compared to last weekend, significant snow and ice will fall on areas hit with the same from the storm last weekend in the Central and Eastern states.
Thousands of utility customers were already without power in portions of Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.
The track of the warmer storm will draw up a great deal of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and later the Atlantic Ocean. The result will be a long swath of moderate to heavy precipitation. The surge of warmth will bring its share of problems.
Snow and/or a wintry mix will fall on Denver; Indianapolis; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Pittsburgh; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; New York City; Boston; and Portland, Maine.
One part of the storm will affect the Rockies and Southwest with snow into early next week. The snow will fall on Colorado and Wyoming, while spreading to parts of Utah, New Mexico, California, Texas and Oklahoma.
The storm will mark the beginning of a pattern change for much of the West.
The storm started off as snow around Nashville to Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday night. Much of the balance of the storm will bring episodes of rain. Several hours of ice glazed surfaces in middle and eastern Tennessee into Saturday.
A band of heavy snow developed just north and east of the mixed precipitation area from part of the Ohio Valley to the central Appalachians.
Prior to a wintry mix changing to rain in the I-95 Northeast, the snow can come down hard with a quick few inches of snow from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston during Saturday afternoon and evening.
Snow of varying intensity will spread across New England and will continue in part of the central Appalachians during Saturday night.
According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, "Enough rain could fall on top of the snow and ice in portions of Kentucky, West Virginia and part of Virginia to raise the risk of flooding."
"Thunderstorms with hail and strong wind gusts are also possible, centered on Arkansas and Mississippi," Margusity added.
Snow, a wintry mix or even rain will raise problems beyond that of slippery travel and airline delays.
According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Mark Paquette, "We are very concerned about the added weight triggering a new round of roof collapses in New England and parts of upstate New York."
The storm is likely to transition from snow to ice and rain along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coasts. However, just enough cold air may linger near the ground to cause an extended period of icing farther inland.
Should a heavy amount of freezing rain occur versus sleet, there could be downed trees and power outages to contend with.
Due to the depth and coldness of the snow cover, widespread flooding problems are not expected with the brief thaw the storm brings to the Northeast. However, should temperatures climb higher than expected with more plain rain, rather than ice and snow, flooding problems associated with ice jams along streams and rivers could develop beyond sporadic incidents.
Another dose of frigid air will follow the storm, so any areas made wet by the rain and thaw will freeze in its wake.
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