Back-to-back winter storms will trek across the central and northeastern United States this weekend into early next week, bringing a wide variety of weather hazards. Snowfall from the first storm will impact a narrow zone and brush a couple of major cities in the Rockies and Upper Midwest. The second storm will follow close behind that system and its accompanying blast of cold air will have the potential to unleash accumulating snow across areas farther south and east in the Midwest and Northeast.
The first storm unloaded accumulating snow from parts of the Rockies to the northern tier of the Midwest through Saturday night. Motorists traveling along interstates 25, 29, 90 and 94 were cautioned that they could face snowy travel and possible slowdowns.
The heaviest snow, on the order of 6-12 inches, was expected to pile up from southeastern Wyoming to northwestern Nebraska and southwestern South Dakota. Snow was heavy enough to shovel and plow in Cheyenne, Wyoming, which is located along I-80 in the southeastern part of the state.
Locations around Rapid City, South Dakota, measured snowfall amounts nearing 4 inches on Saturday.
— NWS Rapid City (@NWSRapidCity) March 6, 2022
Forecasters warned that pockets of ice and a wintry mix would pose travel concerns from portions of central Minnesota to northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan.
Milder air to the south will allow precipitation to come down as rain along much of the I-80 corridor from central Nebraska to Chicago and New York City on Sunday. But for parts of this corridor, another weather factor could cause some travel headaches. Strong winds with gusts reaching 40-60 mph may cause issues for trucks, buses and trailers from Saturday night to Sunday night.
But, in the wake of the first storm, colder air will rush into the Midwest and interior Northeast late this weekend into early next week, just in time for a second storm to roll along and bring snow or a rain and snow mix.
"A broad area of 1-3 inches of snow is likely from parts of the central Plains to portions of the lower Great Lakes and northern New England regions spanning Sunday night to Tuesday," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
Higher accumulations of 3-6 inches of snow are predicted in southern Ohio, northern Missouri and western Illinois, as well as from northern New York state to central and northern Maine.
"The exact track of the second storm will determine where the band of accumulating snow winds up, and there may continue to be some adjustment on that through this weekend, so people may want to keep checking in for the latest information if they have travel or commuting concerns," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek said.
Snow will arrive Sunday night into Monday in the Midwest and from late Monday into Tuesday morning in the Northeast. Where snow falls during the night and the first few hours of the daytime, roads are likely to be slushy and slippery. However, the strong March sunshine, especially in major urban areas, will tend to lead to significant melting on paved surfaces during the midday and afternoon hours.
After experiencing balmy weather much of this weekend, some people in the Midwest, including Omaha, Des Moines, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Chicago and Detroit will deal with areas of slush and slippery conditions on their Monday commutes. As temperatures dip further Monday night, wet and slushy areas are likely to freeze.
People who live in the interior Northeast may have a little more time to adjust since warmth will persist into Sunday night. However, on Monday, the colder air will drill in across western, central and northern New York state to central and northern New England with snow or a rain and snow mix getting underway. Accumulating snow will fall in some locations on Monday night.
Three to 6 inches of snow will fall across the northern tier of the Northeast, and an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ snowfall of 12 inches is predicted in the Adirondack, Green and White mountains.
Most of the snow is likely to stay north of I-80 from eastern Ohio to Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Rain will dampen New York City, as well as much of Connecticut, Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, including Boston.
Temperatures will vary dramatically across the region through the weekend and into early next week.
"With the second storm on Monday, temperatures over a mere 200-mile swath are likely to range from the low 30s - with snow falling - to the 80s in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions," Dombek said.
"The exact geographic markers of where the temperature extreme sets up is still for grabs on Monday," Dombek added. Temperatures may fall through the 30s across the southern tier of New York state and the northern tier of Pennsylvania, while locations in central and southern portions of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware could easily bask in 80-degree-plus warmth.
The wild temperature fluctuations that March is notorious for are likely to continue through at least the middle of the month. As temperatures swing back and forth with the potential for much colder air to advance across the Central and Eastern states later next week, more large storm systems are likely to develop and cross the country.
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