We’re tracking yet another winter storm that is beginning to take shape, bringing rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain–all four types of precipitation–this weekend. Two separate disturbances associated with the northern jet stream will combine with a surface low forming near the Gulf Coast. The result: a very messy weekend. In this article, we’re going to focus on the wintry precipitation associated with this storm.
On Friday, one of the pieces of energy that will aid in the development of snow will move east from the Northwest. This energy will bring a light snow to portions of the Northern Plains and Northern Rockies. To be more specific, portions of Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Then overnight, that light snow will expand to the east, impacting parts of Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois, including Chicago once again. The snow will also continue across much of Nebraska and the southern half of South Dakota. This is when our surface low will begin to develop, and some of the moisture associated with this storm will make it into the cold air. That will allow for freezing rain to begin to break out early Saturday morning from potentially north-central Texas through central and eastern Oklahoma and into much of Missouri. A few light freezing rain showers may also sneak into the western Ohio River Valley.
Then on Saturday, the snow associated with the disturbance from the Northwest U.S. will move toward the Great Lakes and Northeast regions. Therefore, a light snow is forecast from the Quad Cities through the southern Great Lakes and into the interior Northeast plus northern New England. This will not be a major winter storm, but a couple inches of snowfall is expected from this light, quick-hitter. Meanwhile to the west, a second disturbance also associated with this synoptic-scale storm will allow for the formation of snow in the central Rockies, including much of Utah, Colorado, and into parts of Nebraska and Kansas. Cities lake Salt Lake City and Denver will receive snow from this system. Up to half a foot of snow is forecast to fall in the Front Range of Colorado with the heaviest snow falling on the Palmer Divide, just south of Denver. Now with our main storm system over the South, freezing rain and sleet will continue to fall from eastern Oklahoma through portions of Missouri and into the western Ohio Valley, still, especially north of the river in central Illinois and Indiana.
Overnight Saturday, our first disturbance will continue to drop a light to moderate snow across western and Upstate New York and into northern New England. With the second disturbance over the Rockies, snow will wind down across Utah while continuing to go strong in Colorado. To the east, snow will overspread as the night progresses from southern Nebraska and Kansas through the southern Great Lakes as this disturbance becomes infused by the main surface low. This will aid in enhanced snowfall totals in the Chicago area and north of the Ohio River. Now in regards to the icing threat, freezing rain is still possible from north-central Texas through the Ohio Valley (north of the river) and as far east as Ohio.
Then on Sunday, the winter weather threat will begin to wind down as much of the activity pushes into Canada. Snow is still expected, however, across portions of the eastern Great Lakes while freezing rain potentially falls from the Ohio Valley through western New York and into northern New England. As you may notice, freezing rain or icing is a significant threat with this winter storm.
As colder air intrudes Sunday night, a brief period of freezing rain and/or snow is possible in the Tennessee Valley while a light snow moves into the interior Northeast. By the time the sun rises Monday morning, however, all of the wintry weather will come to an end as most of the moisture moves off the U.S. East Coast, although rain associated with this storm will continue across portions of the Southeast.