Wintry Weather Afoot in the Northeast as Temperatures Drop

Posted: December 8, 2021 2:00 pm

A mass of cold air will serve as the impetus for a bout of wintry weather, delivering the potential of snow starting in the Ohio Valley and stretching into the northeastern corner of the US. This system may even produce light accumulation along the Interstate 95 corridor as it sets up during the middle of the week.

Mercury Plummets on Tuesday Ahead of the Storm

After enjoying moderate temperatures in the 50s and high 60s to start the week, the mercury dropped dramatically on Tuesday. Daytime highs in the Northeast struggled to get out of the lower 40s. The addition of gusty winds made the real feel temperature feel even colder for some areas.

This cold air mass is leftover from an earlier system that sent substantial snowfall accumulation to the north-central US early Monday. This air is now moving to the east, providing the fuel for this next round of potential wintry weather.

What Will Wednesday Bring?

There are two separate systems that are set up to bring light accumulation to the Northeast on Wednesday and into Thursday. As of late Tuesday, one system was positioned over the northern Plains with another one set over the southern Plains. The current forecast shows the storms to come in as two separate systems as they move to the northeast throughout the day Wednesday.

Because both parts are moving at a fast clip, it is unlikely to offer a substantial amount of moisture to those in the path. It is likely that neither system will be able to draw enough moisture from either the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico to generate a significant amount of accumulation.

The storm will get its start in the Ohio Valley and the central Appalachians before moving into the mid-Atlantic later on Wednesday. By Thursday morning, the storm is expected to be churning over New England.

Most areas will see under an inch of accumulation, with the total amount dependent on the temperature when the flakes begin to fly.

What the I-95 Corridor Can Expect

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What can the millions of Americans that live along the Interstate 95 corridor expect out of this system? For the most part, it will be a mix of rain, sleet, and wet snow. Because the ground temperature may be slightly warmer than the air temperatures, the bulk of the precipitation is expected to melt once it hits the pavement. This is good news for commuters worried about the Wednesday evening or Thursday morning drive. However, forecasters caution that bridges and overpasses will be the first to freeze.

The big question is whether the major cities along this populated corridor will see enough snow to count as the first official accumulation of the season. Well into the second week of December, Washington, DC, Boston, and New York City have only seen flurries that have not resulted in accumulation.

If you are taking to the air on Wednesday, it is best to be prepared for travel delays. The extra time that it takes to deice the aircraft can lead to a domino effect of widespread disruptions.

Forecast for New England

The greatest chance of measurable snowfall out of this weather maker will be in New England. The storm is predicted to strengthen as it moves to the northeast. As it clashes with the cold air already pervading this area, there is a good chance that measurable snowfall will occur. Forecasters are estimating that 1 to 3 inches of new snow will fall across New England beginning Wednesday night and continuing through Thursday morning.

As the temperatures drop in the overnight hours, residents should be ready for roads and sidewalks to become slippery.

If the system moves farther to the south than anticipated, there is a good chance that New England will be spared any snowfall accumulation.

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