New Storm System to Arrive in Two Parts to the East and Beyond

Posted: January 18, 2024 12:16 pm

A double-edged storm system is forecast to bring significant snow to a large swath of the nation while impacting major metropolitan areas from Chicago to Washington, D.C. Read on for the details about this far-reaching winter storm.

Storm System Will Arrive in Two Parts

The upcoming weather maker will arrive in two distinct parts, impacting at least 18 states across the Midwest and the Northeast lasting through early Saturday. Approximately 115 million Americans will be affected by this storm to some degree. In addition to the wintry precipitation, a blast of Arctic air will deliver another round of frigid temperatures for the eastern U.S.

The first portion of this storm system will target the northern part of the U.S., potentially making travel difficult along portions of interstates 80 and 90. Widespread snowfall accumulations of up to 3 inches is likely for a large swath of eastern Iowa, into northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, and up through New York state, northern New Jersey, and the southern fringe of New England.

Looking at specific city forecasts, Chicago will see light snow showers Thursday morning, drier conditions in the afternoon, and another shot of snow overnight. Accumulations of 1 to 3 inches are in the forecast overnight Thursday and into Friday with the light snow showers expected linger into the morning commute. Highs will top out in the low 20s on Thursday with the intrusion of Arctic air translating to a high of just 13 degrees on Friday.

What is in Store for the Second Part of the Storm System

The second part of this dynamic storm system will extend farther south and is expected to be stronger in nature. While the areas such as Chicago will dodge the heavier snowfall bands with the second portion, places such as Pittsburgh may not be as lucky. The Steel City will see the snow pick up on Friday with up to 3 inches anticipated. Winds will be out of the northwest at 10 to 15 mph, pairing with an afternoon high of 28 degrees.

A more southerly track of this portion of the storm system will mean that Washington, D.C. may also see the flakes fly on Friday. The nation’s capital will likely record about an inch of accumulation on Friday along with highs that hover in the mid 30s.

On a widespread basis, you can expect measurable snowfall for much of interstates 64, 70, and 80 in this region. The snow will get going in the Midwest on Thursday afternoon before stretching into the central Appalachians during the overnight hours and eventually reaching the mid-Atlantic as the work week comes to a close. This zone will pick up a general 1 to 3 inches of snow.

The heaviest snow will fall across portions of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and the northern edge of Virginia and Maryland. These communities should prepare for 3 to 6 inches of snow by the time the system wraps up late Friday and into Saturday.

The higher terrains of West Virginia are forecast to see up to a foot of new snowfall. Meanwhile, cities such as Cleveland, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and Dover should all be ready to shovel snow by Saturday morning.

While this is not likely to be a monster snow storm, it will certainly cause some delays on the roads and in the air. Deicing operations will be a necessity at some of the country’s busiest airports in the Midwest and the Northeast on Friday thanks to the arrival of the Arctic air.

What About the Rest of the East Coast?

Heading up into the Northeast, New York City is forecast to see snowfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches on Friday. The forecast is a little unclear for Boston. There is a chance that the southerly track of this system could mean no snow at all for the city, however, you cannot rule out about an inch of accumulation on Friday.

A wintry mix is in store for the southern flank of the storm system. This will mean the chance of freezing rain and sleet for portions of central Arkansas and as far south as northern Mississippi. There is also the chance of a good shot of wintry precipitation for the southern Appalachians across Tennessee, western North Carolina, and the southeastern corner of Kentucky late Thursday.

For instance, Nashville is once again in the crosshairs for periods of light rain and snow Thursday afternoon and evening with the chance of sleet or freezing rain sneaking into the picture. Any snow accumulation should be limited to less than an inch in the Music City. This chance of wintry precipitation will linger in the overnight hours before drying out on Friday.

Influx of Arctic Air to Create Coldest Temperatures of the Season for Mid-Atlantic and Southeast

The arrival of more Arctic air behind the storm will mean that any moisture that falls is not likely to melt any time soon. Any areas of standing water will freeze quickly by Saturday. A large part of the mid-Atlantic and the Southeast is predicted to record the coldest temperatures of the winter season thus far with this blast of cold air.

How cold will it get? The mercury will plummet into teens overnight over the weekend for a majority of the East Cast from Philadelphia and down into Atlanta. Temperatures will fall even lower in communities where snow is covering the ground and the clouds break up to allow colder air to reach the ground.

The temperatures are expected to begin to inch upwards again across the East starting next week. However, the region will continue to experience dense fog and ice thanks to the moisture circulating in the air. This is the time of the year when you will want to stay on top of your local forecast so that you can plan outdoor activities and travel accordingly.

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