Will a Groundhog Day snowstorm eye East following storm set to brush Northeast?
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 27, 2018, 11:14:39 AM EST
Despite an overall mild weather pattern, just enough cold air may be in place at the right time for snow in part of the northeastern United States into early February.
Two storms bear watching for the potential of accumulating snow during the last few days of January and the start of February.
During this weekend, a storm will bring drenching rain to the Southeastern states.
This storm is likely to bring some drought relief but may also produce enough rain to slow travel and cause incidents of flash and urban flooding, especially along the Interstate 10 corridor and also farther to the north along the Carolina coast.
Those with plans to go to the NFL Pro Bowl game in Orlando on Sunday afternoon will need to bring along rain gear.
Snow or snow showers are in the offing for northeastern US early next week
The same storm and an associated push of chilly air are forecast to spread rain showers from west to east across the Northeast this weekend. Other than some minor travel issues and disruptions to outdoor activities, no major problems are likely in the Northeast this weekend.
Not enough rain will fall to aggravate water levels and ice jams on the Susquehanna River and other streams in the region. The mild weather and light rain may help to diffuse the ice jams.
However, as the southern storm turns northward, just enough cold air may arrive with an Alberta clipper storm to produce snow in some areas and snow showers in others early next week.
"How quickly these three components come together will determine the extent of dry air and flurries versus accumulating snow," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
"The trend has been for these features to join up faster and pull the southern storm closer to the coast," Pastelok said. "At this point, people from New England to the upper mid-Atlantic coast should monitor the forecast for changes and potential snow from Monday night into Tuesday."
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At this point, areas that stand the best chance of receiving more than a coating of snow will be the central Appalachians, eastern New England and Nova Scotia, and a swath from western New York state to perhaps southeastern New York state and northern New Jersey.
There is the potential for slippery roads and airline delays from Monday night into part of Tuesday.
Will a Groundhog Day snowstorm come about?
Snow and the risk of slippery travel in the Northeast next week may not end with the storm early on.
"Following another surge of warm air during the middle part of next week, cold air will advance, and another swath of rain will break out late in the week," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
"If a storm manages to develop as the cold air is sweeping in, then rain may change to snow and accumulate across the Appalachians, eastern Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes region spanning next Friday and Friday night," Anderson said.
It's possible that the transition from rain to snow may extend to the East Coast, depending on the storm track. Such a storm, if it materializes, may affect flights in the Interstate 95 corridor for fans heading to Minnesota for the Super Bowl.
The bulk of the storm may occur on Groundhog Day, Friday, Feb. 2, when Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his burrow in Pennsylvania to make his prediction as to how long winter weather will last.
Recall that a storm brought heavy snow to part of the Northeast on Groundhog Day 2015. New York City received 5 inches of snow and drenching rain from the storm, while Boston was buried under 16 inches. Earlier, the same storm delivered heavy snow to the Midwest.
AccuWeather will continue to provide updates on the storm potential in the coming days.
In the meantime, temperatures will continue to swing from seasonable chill to above-average warmth in the Eastern states into next week. However, frigid air is again building over the Arctic and likely to return during February.
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