At least two storms with some snow and ice will bring difficult travel and are likely to prompt school delays and closings across the Midwest and Northeast from Sunday to Tuesday.
The first storm will spread a swath of snow and wintry mix from the Midwest to the Northeast into Sunday night.
"Since the storm late this past week washed away much of the salt from the roads, crews may have to work extra hard reapplying ice melting compounds in this extensive area of snow forecast," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.
"Roads and sidewalks might be slipperier than you would normally expect from a light snowfall at this point of the winter and motorists, pedestrians and property owners should plan accordingly," Abrams said.
After creating slippery travel over the Midwest on Sunday, the snow is projected to continue to shift eastward from Sunday night to early Monday, but may take a more narrow swath through Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, northern Maryland, the southern tier of New York state, New Jersey and northern Delaware.
Snowfall in these areas will generally be on the order of a coating to an inch or two. That is still enough to make roads slippery, especially with the snow falling at night.
Binghamton, New York; Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Scranton, Pennsylvania; Trenton, New York, and New York City can receive enough to coat roads.
The wintry mix will extend from Morgantown, West Virginia, to Harrisonburg, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Dover, Delaware, and Cape May, New Jersey.
The air may be too dry to allow much more than flurries across upstate New York and the rest of New England during the first storm.
Second storm to be stronger, warmer and cut toward Great Lakes
The second storm of the week is forecast to be significantly stronger, more complex and may travel well to the north in the cold air with heavy precipitation.
"In the Midwest, the second storm will be primarily from later Monday to Tuesday evening," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
In the Northeast, snow and ice from the second storm may ramp back up across the central Appalachians on Monday before spreading over the northern mid-Atlantic and across New England Monday night and into early Wednesday.
An Arctic high pressure will linger over New England and not quickly exit by way of the mid-Atlantic coast.
So despite the rapid warmup suggestion by a storm cutting toward the Great Lakes, a period of heavy snow and a substantial buildup of ice can occur in parts of the Northeast.
"There may be several inches of snow from parts of southern Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York state to Massachusetts prior to any change to ice and rain," Abrams said.
Ultimately, people in northern New England should expect a foot of snow from this storm spanning later Tuesday to early Wednesday.
In this case, a wedge of below-freezing air may hold in parts of the central Appalachians, Piedmont and other parts of the Northeast.
Ice may continue to glaze surfaces far south as western Virginia and from the panhandle of West Virginia and western and central Maryland to central and eastern Pennsylvania, the Hudson Valley of New York and into southern New England.
Whether the ice occurs as mostly as sleet versus freezing rain will determine whether or not there are widespread power outages. Sleet bounces off trees, while freezing rain adheres to the limbs and weighs them down.
A rather quick warmup would still occur farther south and along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coasts. However, there would still likely be a period of wintry mix that makes for slow and slippery travel from Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and New Haven, Connecticut.
Ultimately, the exact track of both storms will determine the northern extent of the plain rain area and the northern edge of the snow and ice.
Download the free AccuWeather app to see the timing of the storms and the expected amount and form of precipitation for your area.
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