The thoughts on everyone’s mind this morning are who is getting snow, and how much? Much of the Northeast has already felt the first affects of the second wave of our winter storm. By the end of the day, we will see significant snow and icing in the North and heavy rainfall across the South. But across the country, the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies prepare for up to 2 feet of snow to continue to pile on the mountains through midweek.

This is the Tuesday edition of your Morning Briefing, where we’ll give you a quick rundown on everything you need to know weather-wise, every weekday morning. Let’s get started.

Disruptive Snow and Ice Creeps into the Northeast:

  1. The first wave of this storm managed to drop a few inches of snow across parts of the Mid-Atlantic yesterday, but it is far from over. This morning, the system creeps into the Northeast as the region prepares for heavy snow, freezing rain, and sleet.
  2. Snow will continue to spread from south to north today as it moves further into New England, reaching Maine by this afternoon. While the heaviest snowfall will remain in the interior, much of the coast will still see a significant yet plow-able snowfall by the tonight.
  3. The trickiest part of this forecast has been the timing of a warm layer aloft. Snow will not stick around forever for much of the coast, as a switch to heavy sleet and freezing rain in the evening and overnight is expected. Ice accretion totals will amount up to 0.25″, which means extremely dangerous driving conditions in areas of moderate/heavy icing.
  4. For areas with lighter icing, a glaze of 0.1″ is still expected on untreated roads and walkways. Though less, this will still mean dangerous, icy conditions, especially while temperatures at the surface remain below freezing.
  5. A switch to rain for most coastal areas is also expected early Wednesday morning as overall precipitation comes to an end. This will limit any sort of lasting snow accumulations on the ground, causing a slushy mess during the Wednesday morning commute.
  6. Most of the region is under some sort of Winter Weather Advisory, and we urge you to check your local news for current conditions, traffic updates, and school closures.

For a more in-depth discussion on this storm, its effects, and its timing, click here!

Flooding Likely Across Much of the Southeast Today:

  1. Yesterday, and even into this morning, parts of the Lower Mississippi River Valley saw heavy, excessive rainfall that caused flooding and flash flooding throughout parts of the area. Today, similar rainfall can be expected, but the risk has now shifted east and north to the Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys.
  2. Rainfall totals of 1-2″ are possible throughout the region, with the heaviest rain focused over the Tennessee River Valley this afternoon. Here, 1.5-2″ is likely, causing river and flash flooding in flood prone parts of the area.
  3. Rain will switch to snow briefly this afternoon further north in the Ohio River Valley after up to 1.5″ of rain is expected to have fallen. Snow accumulations this evening will likely only amount to about 0.5-1″.

Pacific Northwest Slammed with More Snow:

  1. Cold air stuck in place over the region will mean that the incoming Pacific storm will bring heavy snow to the region. Over the Northern Rockies, an additional 2 feet of snow could fall on top of what has already been dumped over the area. However, snow reaching even lower elevations is what has caught most people’s attention today.
  2. There’s much uncertainty currently with how much snow lower elevations will receive due to uncertainty in the strength of an incoming cold front. If lift along the front is stronger, than precipitation intensity will be higher, meaning snowfall totals will be higher as well.
  3. In foothills, snow and ice melt will be a big concern for roadways this afternoon and Wednesday, after the bulk of the snow has passed. Snow melt could cause road flooding and blocked storm drains. It is important to heed local warnings, and if a road is flooded, turn around, don’t drown!

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Author

Kathleen is a writer and meteorological consultant at WeatherOptics. A recent graduate from Stony Brook University, Kathleen has earned her B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Previously, she has done research on the role of Atmospheric Rivers on Arctic Amplification and forecasted for local pages like SBU Weather.

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