Ice turns to snow by this afternoon, while temperatures continue to drop towards and below freezing into the weekend. Meanwhile, we continue to track updates on this weekend’s incoming storm that could bring heavy precipitation to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Welcome to the Wednesday edition of your Morning Briefing, where we’ll give you a quick rundown on everything you need to know weather-wise, every weekday morning. Let’s begin.

Ice in Interior Northeast Followed by Widespread Lake-Effect Snow:

  1. Widespread snowfall from low pressure exiting the region, as well as moderate lake-effect snow, will blanket much of the region by the end of the day Thursday.
  2. Icy/mixed precipitation will likely switch all the way over to snow, especially further west, by early this afternoon. Closer to the coast, freezing rain, sleet, and rain will stick around for a bit longer, not quite moving out of the region until early Thursday morning. Ice accumulations will likely be less than 0.25″ and will center around Southern New England.
  3. An influx of cold air will cause rain and ice to switch to snow inland, allowing lake-effect snow to follow. Snowfall will likely be light today, picking up going into Thursday before tapering off Thursday afternoon.
  4. Snowfall totals will be highest downwind of Lakes Erie and Ontario, where over 15″ are possible. The rest of the region can expect totals around 2-6″, with higher amounts likely over higher elevations.

Temperatures Continue to Drop Across the East:

  1. The return to temperatures that actually feel like mid-January is underway as temps have already dropped a few degrees since yesterday across the Northern Tier of the US. This cold will continue to nudge its way across most of the East as several low pressure systems move over the region.
  2. This temperature difference will be apparent for the Northeast today, with lows expected to drop almost 10 degrees for most places. This cold will continue to creep in, helping in the development of lake-effect snow and setting the stage for below freezing temperature profiles ahead of our incoming weekend storm.
  3. A pattern change will allow this cold air to break even further South, with temperatures as far south as NC dropping below freezing near the week’s end.
  4. Cold air will likely remain in place until more pattern changes come next week.

Possible Weekend Storm Update:

  1. Although there is still large uncertainty, pieces are beginning to fit together for the puzzle that is this upcoming weekend storm. Jet patterns will dominate the track, timing, and consequently intensity of this system as it moves northeast.
  2. Different from tomorrow, a more southerly track is likely, meaning less snow for the interior Northeast and Upper Great Lakes. However, this would mean higher snowfall totals further south, where areas are not as equipped to deal with heavy snowfall.
  3. The Upper Mississippi and Ohio Valleys have the highest chance of significant accumulation, with an area of icy mixed precip to the south. Further north, the Mid-Atlantic and coastal Northeast have lower chances of accumulating snow, but that does not mean it won’t happen. Updates regarding exact track will be more and more important as we inch closer to the end of the week.

You can also check out a more in-depth update on this weekend’s storm here, and, continue to be on the lookout for further updates.

Be sure to subscribe to Your Morning Briefing on the right-hand side of this article, so we can send you what you need to know, every weekday morning straight to your inbox.


Kathleen is a Meteorologist at WeatherOptics, where she works writing content for the website, providing accurate and detailed forecasts to clients, and consulting on various meteorological projects. Kathleen earned her B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in 2018 from Stony Brook University. Kathleen has also done research into our changing climate by investigating theRole of Atmospheric Rivers on Arctic Amplification in 2017.

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