Winter Weather Heading Into Much of U.S. by Mid-Week

Posted: January 23, 2023 11:35 am

Will the Major Cities of the Northeast Finally End the Snow Drought?

A powerful burst of energy in the atmosphere moving across the southwestern U.S. is going to trigger a dynamic storm over the southern and central portions of the country. The energy will first gain its strength across the Rocky Mountains to start the week before moving to the northeast, bringing heavy snow and torrential rain depending on the location of the moisture. Here is what you need to know about this evolving weather situation.

Central U.S. Prepares for Snow

The massive weather maker will bring up moisture-rich air from the Gulf of Mexico, fueling a line of severe storms along the Gulf Coast and into the southeast. This moisture will also be the impetus for significant snow accumulation in the southern Plains and farther to the northeast.

After dropping a bit of snow on Denver on Monday morning, the snow machine will move eastward. You can expect snowfall accumulation of over a half of a foot in some areas in the line of fire with lighter snow as far south as Oklahoma City. The timing of the system will bring it into the capital city of Oklahoma on Tuesday.

This snowfall line may creep as far as the Dallas metroplex by late Tuesday, however, the moisture is primarily expected to fall as rain in north Texas. Both Dallas and Oklahoma City are running below normal for this time of year for snowfall amounts.

Motorists will want to exercise caution as the snow begins to fall. Roads can become slippery even in areas that do not pick up a lot of snow. Because the snow is forecast to be heavy and wet in nature, it is more likely to bring down power lines and tree branches, creating widespread power outages.

Who Will See the Most Snow?

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The system will move to the northeast at a fast clip, reaching Pennsylvania by late Wednesday. Forecasters are warning that it is difficult to determine what parts of the Ohio Valley will see the most snow. A slight shift in the jet stream could bring the moisture farther south or north, influencing what areas see the accumulation.

At this point in the forecast, it is looking like Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit will get in on some of the wintry precipitation. St. Louis will likely escape with accumulations of less than an inch. While Chicago is set to see 1 – 3 inches of snow, Detroit is predicted to take on 3 – 5 inches of new accumulation.

The snow will eventually make its way to the upper reaches of New England. Areas to the southeast of the storm will likely see just rain or a mix of rain and snow. For instance, the temperatures will be warm enough in Nashville to keep the precipitation falling as straight rain.

The snow is forecast to begin in the St. Louis area by late Tuesday and move into Chicago and its suburbs by the morning commute Wednesday. The snow will dissipate by Thursday with just a few isolated flurries lingering in the central U.S.

In addition to the potential of slippery roads and power outages, this mid-week storm may also create travel delays in the air. This will be a particular concern if the snow comes down heavier than expected in Chicago and Detroit, two major airline hubs in this part of the country.

There is still a big question mark surrounding how much snow the Northeast will see out of this weather maker. It does not look like it will cross over the Interstate 95 corridor and end the snow drought for cities such as New York City and Philadelphia. However, it is likely that areas to the west of this corridor will see the flakes fly by the end of the work week. Stay tuned to the forecast to see how this storm system develops in the coming days.

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