Weekend snow, ice, rain and fog to slow travel in central and eastern US

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 09, 2018, 3:19:06 AM EST

  • Spotty black ice is possible at onset of storm in the Appalachians and New England.
  • More snow is forecast for areas of the Midwest hit by the Thursday night and Friday snowstorm.
  • Fog may impede travel in the storm's mild zone in the eastern United States.

Following yet another extensive swath of snow over the Midwest and Northeast to end this week, a new storm will take shape this weekend with a wide variety of precipitation and travel issues.

Static Weekend Storm US

A storm is set to track from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Ohio Valley and eastern Great Lakes this weekend.

Wintry impacts are likely at the major hubs of Chicago and Detroit on Saturday. The storm is slated to affect hubs from Atlanta to New York City and Boston with rain and fog issues during Saturday night and Sunday.

Slippery Travel Saturday 2.9 AM

The well-inland path will translate to warmer air and mostly rain from Texas to Massachusetts on east and south.

Rainfall is not expected to be heavy enough to cause widespread flooding, even where rain falls on top of heavy snowcover.

However, the ground may remain cold enough at the onset of the storm to cause spotty black ice from the central Appalachians to the New England coast, despite mostly rain from the storm.

Mild conditions combined with moisture, snowcover and/or a cold ground are perfect ingredients for fog.

Static Fog Issues

While much of this area can expect milder air with plain rain, fog may become dense enough to lead to delays on the highways and for airline passengers.

The area from northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas to much of Missouri, central Illinois, northern Indiana and northwestern Ohio is likely to get a wintry mix from the storm that includes some ice.

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The swath from northeastern Kansas to much of Iowa, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, northern New York state and northern New England is likely to receive mostly snow from the storm. There is the potential for a few inches, depending on the storm's strength.

At this time, enough snow is likely to fall to force crews to apply a fresh dose of ice-melting products.

The storm will cap a week-long siege of snow and travel disruptions, including airline delays and multiple-vehicle accidents with the worst conditions in the Midwest.

Storms to bolster seasonal snowfall totals in Midwest

In the wake of the storms from this week to this weekend, parts of the Midwest may have a foot of snow on the ground and erased their snowfall deficit for the season.

As of Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, Chicago had received 16.0 inches of snow, compared to an average of 23 inches for the date. The combined total for multiple storms from last Monday to this Sunday may approach 1 foot in some communities around the city.

Some cities, such as Detroit, have already received above-average winter snowfall. The Motor City has received 41.9 inches of snow as of Feb. 8, compared to an average of 26.5 inches for the date.

Areas from Philadelphia to New York City and Boston were already above average for snowfall this season as of Thursday.

Even though the weather pattern favors milder storms in the coastal Northeast overall for the rest of February, cold air may fight back during March.

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