With Christmas and New Years right around the corner, the busiest travel season of the year is upon us, and right now the weather doesn’t want to cooperate. After a quick start to the Winter season with multiple snow events and flakes covering the ground from the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast, the last few days have been a much welcomed period of warmer weather and sunnier skies. However, the break from the wintery weather looks like it’s going to end Friday, as one weak storm system moves in from the Midwest and another merges from the south. The result? A sloppy and icy start to the weekend.
The storm out of the Midwest will likely move in first, spreading light to moderate snow showers from the western Great Lakes into Upstate New York and New England. This will begin overnight tomorrow and last through the daytime on Friday. As the storm surges northward and we get an extra kick from a second system to the south, warmer air will move over colder air closer the surface, resulting in snow changing to a wintry mix and ice. This becomes especially bad later on the day on Friday and during the first half of Saturday, where we expect parts of New England to take the brunt of the mixed precipitation.
Our graphic above highlights which areas we think will see what kind of precipitation, the evolution of how that happens, and what total frozen precipitation totals might end up being. The area of most concern is in dark pink, where moderate snow during the first half of Friday will likely change to a wintry mix and ice during the evening, overnight hours, and possibly into early Saturday. After several inches of snow accumulates, it’s possible these locations then get moderate icing that could lead to much bigger issues.
Even areas outside of the dark pink will have their fair share of problems, with accumulating snow early Friday, and then possibly again later on Saturday as some colder air presses down into our second storm system forcing rain to change back over to some snow showers.
Areas to the south across southern New England, Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic should remain mostly rain for this event, with temperatures being too warm to see anything frozen. Heading into Christmas, much colder air will be available, and storm potential does exist, so we’re keeping a close eye out to make sure another snow event doesn’t sneak up on the region. There is strong disagreement among guidance right now, but we should have a much better idea early tomorrow.
Beyond that, the pattern doesn’t look too bad for snow and mixed events, so it looks like we’ll be staying on our toes through New Years and afterwards. If you’re missing out on the snow this go around, it might not be too long. Keep it here.