As a disturbance moves from the Midwest and then eventually offshore, a weak coastal storm will develop and drop a light swath of snow across portions of the Northeast on Saturday. This storm will not be significant by any means, but some places will get a few inches out of it, making for slippery travel to start your weekend.
During the morning Saturday, light snow showers will be falling across portions of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York. Cities like Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia may wake up to some snowflakes falling from the sky. By the midday hours, snow showers will also develop in southern New York, including Long Island, as well as New Jersey, Delaware, and back into parts of West Virginia and Ohio. By the afternoon, our coastal storm will begin to develop, but won’t have much time to strengthen as it quickly moves further offshore and departs to the east. The last minute development may mean some weak coastal enhancement with slightly heavier snow falling for a few hours, but this activity should be mostly confined to the coast from New Jersey through Southern New England. The highest snow totals will be found at the coast due to more moisture being thrown back towards the shoreline before exiting. By the evening hours, snow will dwindle, although it may linger for a few more hours across eastern Long Island and Cape Cod.
Snowfall totals will be light for the most part, adding up from a coating to an inch for most locations. Because of how cold the air is, snowfall ratios will be much higher than the typical 10:1 ratio. We’re thinking it will be upwards somewhere between 15:1 and 20:1, which means for every one inch of water, you’ll get between 15 and 20 inches of snow. Some locations will only receive around a quarter of an inch of precipitation, but that will translate to up to 5 inches of snowfall.
After this system moves through, the coldest air of the season so far will likely infiltrate the entire region. Temperatures for New Years Eve and day may be 20-30 degrees + below average, making for lows in the single and negative digits. The cold should begin to relax as we head towards the middle of the month.