Weekend winter storm will make travel 'hazardous' across central US and the Northeast

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY

A winter storm will dump snow and ice across a wide swath of the northern U.S. on Friday and into the weekend, probably causing "hazardous" travel, forecasters said.

After walloping the West Coast with rain and snow as a "bomb cyclone," the storm will move across the Plains, Midwest and the Northeast.

The storm should cause "a fairly widespread area of travel difficulty over the central U.S. by Friday night, with very slippery roads and locally poor visibility," the National Weather Service said.

Snow will fall Friday in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, AccuWeather said, possibly piling up to a foot in some areas. Blizzard conditions might develop in some areas, the Weather Channel said. 

"This has the potential to be one of the most impactful winter storms of the season for the Upper Midwest," CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.

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Farther south, ice will be the story from the central Plains to the Ohio Valley. "Significant icing" is forecast across portions of Missouri and Illinois, according to AccuWeather.

"Areas from northeastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle to northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio can expect a thin glaze of ice that will make driving and walking slippery and hazardous," according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

"We recommend avoiding any travel Friday if possible," the National Weather Service in Kansas City said.

In Iowa, the weather service in Des Moines warned that the wet, heavy snow will combine with ice accumulations and gusty winds to bring the threat of downed power lines and tree branches.

By Saturday, heavy snow is expected in portions of Pennsylvania, New York and much of New England. A foot of snow or more could pile up in parts of the central Appalachians and New England.

Boston is forecast to be in the heavy precipitation zone, but the primary form of precipitation will depend on the battle between mild ocean air to the southeast and cold air over interior New England, AccuWeather said. If the mild air wins out, only a moderate snowfall would occur. If the cold air hangs on, Boston could be looking at a 6- to 12-inch snowfall.

"Enough snow and ice is likely to fall with this storm to create slippery travel from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore to New York City with a general coating to an inch or two forecast for these areas along Interstate 95," said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dave Dombek.

Behind this storm, strong winds blowing over the primarily still warm and unfrozen Great Lakes will manufacture bands of heavy lake-effect snow Sunday, possibly lingering into Monday in the lake snowbelts, the Weather Channel said. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Winter weather advisory: Snow, ice coming to northern US, Indiana