Rain and some snow has already begun for most of the Northeast. This strong storm is the same that delivered blizzard conditions to the Midwest on Sunday. As the day goes on, more rain will turn to snow for the Great Lakes and interior Northeast. Snow and rain will end tonight as the system moves offshore, however, lake effect snow will continue to dust the Great Lakes for the better half of the week.
A second strengthening low pressure center, currently just off of Cape Cod, is expected to track northeastward today and Wednesday, before again moving back out to the Atlantic Thursday. This second low is responsible for dropping temperatures and a switch over to snow. While most of the coast has already missed the chance for a few flakes, this changeover will mean heavy snow for parts of northwestern PA, upstate NY, and interior New England. As of this morning, only a few pockets of rain are holding on near Lake Ontario, according to radar.
Snow will continue to fall until the end of the day, with totals reaching nearly 20″ in certain areas. Lake effect snow and lifting at higher elevations is what will bring these totals from 3-5″ to over a foot. Combined with high winds, travel conditions may be hazardous today at times. Thankfully, rush hour should be far enough away that most counties have time to plow and put down salt and sand. Still, conditions will be less than ideal. Heavy snow and high winds could decrease visibility significantly, and smaller local roads may not be plowed. Winds will be strongest along the coast, where snow is not likely. However, gusts of 40+ mph could still reach parts of the interior Northeast early this afternoon.
Although the system will have moved offshore by tonight, snow will continue to fall over the Great Lakes, moving over to the Upper Appalachians and Adirondacks. Cold air shooting across the Great Lakes will cause lake effect snow to drop an additional 2-4″ over the region until Thursday night. Once they hit higher elevations, lift over the mountains will cause even more snow to fall. This will bring totals over the Upper Appalachians and Adirondacks up another 3-6″ by Thursday night. Snowfall from Wednesday-Thursday night is expected to be light, but mostly continuous, thus the call for a few inches.
Snow will linger on Thursday, tapering off until finally giving way to warmer temperatures. A short wave of high pressure aloft will move over the area, keeping warm temperatures in place for the end of the work week. Afterwards, the weekend will bring another round of unsettled, wintry weather to the region.