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Will next cold wave set stage for ice, snow in northeastern US late this week?

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 19, 2017, 6:41:04 AM EDT

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Another blast of arctic air will plunge into the northeastern United States this week, but mild air could return just ahead of the next major storm.

A weak storm system will bring mostly rain showers to the Ohio Valley, lower Great Lakes, mid-Atlantic and southern New England with a wintry mix farther north early in the week.

Another cold shot of air pushing southward will stretch from the Upper Midwest to New England. Much of this cold air will spare the Southeast states.

Static Midweek Cold Blast


High temperatures may not climb out of the teens in northern New England and the 20s southward to northern Pennsylvania on Wednesday. In the mid-Atlantic, highs will hover in the 30s and 40s on Wednesday and Thursday, about 20 degrees below average.

"In areas where there is deep snowcover, temperatures could be every bit as cold as the air from this past week," AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

However, conditions will be significantly less windy.

AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will still plunge below zero in northern New England and will dip into the single digits to near zero in parts of the mid-Atlantic.

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AccuWeather Winter Weather Center

The extent of wintry precipitation impacts from the next storm will depend on how the core of the arctic air exits the Northeast.

If the core of the arctic air settles off the mid-Atlantic coast, a faster warmup could be in store.

Static Scenario 1 Quick Warmup


Should the core of the arctic air settle off the New England coast, a northeasterly breeze may develop. This would not only keep cold air in place in New England and the mid-Atlantic but could also drive a wedge of cold air into the Piedmont areas of the South.

Static Scenario 2 Cold Wedge


"The latest trends in the long-range weather pattern suggest that a rather swift warmup may take place in the Northeastern states," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity.

Even if cold air leaves the region swiftly late this week, a few pockets of cold air may remain long enough to allow a brief period of ice and/or snow. The greatest chance of snow and ice on the front end of the storm is in northern New England and the upper Great Lakes.

There is a possibility that snow could fall as far south as the central Appalachians and part of the mid-Atlantic.

Regardless, it appears that a dynamic storm will take shape over the Central states, which could unleash severe weather for parts of the Plains, Mississippi Valley and the South this week.

With 2-3 feet of snow on the ground in parts of the Northeast, the threat for rain along with the warm air could lead to possible flooding.

Widespread flooding problems will be avoided as long as the storm weakens before reaching the Northeast.

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