Winter is not ready to give up just yet as a storm will cruise along the northern tier of the central United States and bring a round of accumulating snow and slippery travel from parts of the northern Rockies to the Great Lakes region this weekend and then portions of the Northeast early in the week.
A strong west-to-east oriented jet stream will keep the storm moving at a swift pace. This fast movement will prevent the storm from grabbing much moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
"A swath of snow is expected to streak from the High Plains into the western Great Lakes this weekend. A narrow band of intense snowfall is expected to develop in eastern South Dakota, then track eastward into southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin Saturday night. A swath of 6-10 inches of snow is possible, with some locales possibly picking up a foot," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.
"The character of the snow will tend to be dry and powdery from the Rockies to the northern Plains where conditions and road surfaces are expected to remain quite cold," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said, adding that the snow will tend to focus around I-90 in these regions.
AccuWeather meteorologists expect roadways to become snow-covered in this corridor.
"Precipitation will transition to more of a wet snow and even wintry mix condition around the Great Lakes," Anderson said. "Temperatures around the Great Lakes may even be above freezing when much of the snow is falling."
Roads may initially be wet as a result of marginal temperatures across the Great Lakes, but they could turn slushy and snow-covered where snow falls heavily and as night falls. Slick travel is mainly expected north of I-90.
Cities such as Billings, Montana; Rapid City, Pierre and Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Minneapolis and Rochester, Minnesota; Eau Claire, Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Grand Rapids, Lansing and Flint, Michigan; can expect accumulating snow from the storm.
Chicago and Detroit are likely to be on the southern edge of the accumulating snow from the storm this weekend. However, enough snow can fall to make roads and sidewalks slippery again in the wake of the storm that was winding down on Friday.
All or mostly rain is forecast to fall over the middle Mississippi and Ohio valleys from the weekend storm.
As the system continues to move along, it will spread over the northern tier of the Northeast spanning Sunday night and Monday.
The same fast-moving nature and marginal temperatures will limit the duration, amount and coverage of wintry travel in the Northeast. Still, a significant part of the snow is likely to fall Sunday night to early Monday over northern and western New York state and northern and central New England, when road surface temperatures will be lower.
Most areas will be blanketed by 1-3 inches of snow, but 3-6 inches are forecast with up to 8 inches possible over the higher elevations of upstate New York and New England.
The storm is likely to bring rain along the I-95 corridor of the Northeast from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston with temperatures reaching the 40s and 50s.
Forecasters warn that motorists venturing through the I-80, I-81, I-87, I-89, I-90, I-91 and I-93 corridors, where temperatures will be within a few degrees of freezing, should be prepared for areas of snow, slush and slippery conditions from Sunday night to early Monday.
As people head to the polls for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, some wintry weather weather could stick around as the system will sit off the New England coast. However, the storm may move out swiftly, allowing chilly and dry air to rush in instead.
Other weak systems could follow suit and deliver snow to the northern tier of the U.S. into the middle of February.
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