After an extremely active two-thirds of winter for the Midwest, the Northeast gets to join in this week on the winter fun with plenty of snow and ice expected. The Midwest doesn’t fully escape this one either though. Rather, a very large and robust system is expected to bring over a foot of snow along with heavy ice and gusty winds from Wisconsin to New York. We break down what to expect in tonight’s edition of your Sunday Storm.
“Phase 1” of our storm system is already underway. Much of western Pennsylvania and the northern Mid-Atlantic are already dealing with snow and ice tonight as a robust front-end to our storm system spreads moisture northward. However, this will not last. As our main storm system develops and deepens well to the southwest, a much heavier main shield of precipitation will begin pushing north. This will begin to unfold late tomorrow and into early Tuesday, as much of the northern Mid-Atlantic and southern New England get a front-end thump of snow following by freezing rain and then plain rain later Tuesday and on into Wednesday.
Meanwhile to the west heavy snow will also begin to breakout. After our main low pressure really develops it will move up into the Great Lakes region, piling on over a foot of snow in some spots. Snow will spread so far east at the same time because a simultaneous secondary low pressure system will develop to the south and east and slide along the southern New England coastline. Since it won’t slide off the coast, warm air will infiltrate from the upper atmosphere downward, leading to widespread heavy freezing rain issues after a period of heavy snow.
The main concern for areas expected to see less than 4-8 inches of snowfall will be freezing rain. Notice there is a large amount of overlap between light to moderate snowfall and moderate to heavy freezing rain. This means that a large region across Pennsylvania will get a double whammy of heavy snow followed by heavy freezing rain. That will make for a rather traitorous Tuesday morning into Tuesday night.
By Wednesday afternoon, with the exception of northern New England, our storm should be mostly done with. As it exits though we are likely to see some decent strengthening, allowing for heavier snow to fall and stronger winds to kick up. It will be a nasty Wednesday for the the northernmost portions of New England, with some areas likely to see 15″ or more of snowfall, especially in the highest elevations.
There are still some details that may change over the course of the next day or two, including exact timing and temperature profiles. It’s possible that with a stronger high pressure to the north and a low pressure located slightly further SE, we see things trend a bit colder/snowier before we make a final call. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this.