There will be several rounds of rain, snow, and ice across the Northeast this week as temperatures cool rapidly. Still, these bouts of lake-effect snow and showers are only precursors to a potentially heavier snow storm this weekend.

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of your Morning Briefing, where we’ll give you a quick rundown of everything you need to know weather-wise, every weekday morning. Let’s jump right in.

Significant Interior Northeast Snow:

  1. Creeping in from the Great Lakes this morning is a the first system in a while that will bring significant snowfall to the Interior Northeast through Thursday. Winter weather advisories have already been issued across most of the region until early this morning further south and west, or, until later this afternoon further north and east.
  2. A mix of snow, ice, and rain is expected throughout the day, with ice accumulations of less than 0.1″ likely. A surge of warm air to the Great Lakes will lower temperatures briefly, likely just after the onset of precipitation. This will keep precipitation type as rain for much of the region, lowering accumulated snowfall totals.
  3. Snow accumulations today into Wednesday will likely be nothing exciting, with only up to 4″ for higher elevations in the Adirondacks. However, incoming cold air Wednesday into Thursday will help the development of everyone’s favorite: lake-effect snow!
  4. Lake-effect snow Wednesday into Thursday will account for most of this week’s snow accumulations. A combination of left over moisture and incoming cold air will deliver widespread snow for the Interior Northeast that has been seemingly absent all season.

Serious Cool Down for Northern Tier Midweek:

  1. The passage of 2 low pressure systems will allow temperatures to continue to drop this week, finally reaching back down to average/below-average for early January.
  2. Today, this cool down will begin across the Northern Plains and into the Upper Great Lakes, where temperatures that were previously 20 to 30 degrees above normal, should drop back down to below freezing by Wednesday.
  3. Across the Northeast, this major cool down will be most apparent Wednesday into Thursday, where lows will drop at least 10 degrees during this time. This cool down is the key component in the switch from dreary rain storms to more seasonable snow storms.

All Eyes on this Weekend’s Storm:

  1. Although still a few days out, signals are strong for a potentially high impact winter storm this weekend. While the exact track is still uncertain, we have two possible scenarios for the outcome.
  2. Either way, most models are in consensus that the Southeast and Lower Mississippi Valley will see significant rainfall, with minor flooding possible early this weekend. The storm will develop along the Gulf early Saturday, and make its way further north throughout the weekend.
  3. Track 1: This system will almost hug the Northeast coastline, being just far enough away to drop heavy snowfall along the coast. This will mean light snowfall for the Interior Northeast, which will likely still have significant accumulations on the ground from midweek. In the Mid-Atlantic, ice and rain will mix into a slushy, slippery mess and making travel a hazard across the region.
  4. Track 2: Further from the coast, lighter snowfall along the coast will be seen, with little to no snowfall further inland. However, this will also mean heavier snow for the Mid-Atlantic, instead of ice. Heavy snowfall accumulations could still mean major issues for travel and outdoor work Saturday into Sunday. Further South, cold air would dip down and create a chance for a icy mix as far south as the Carolinas.
  5. While still very uncertain, it is likely that many parts of the region will be effected by this weekend’s storm, so be sure to check back in for updates regarding timing, track, and intensity.

For a more in-depth look into this storm, its setup, and possible outcomes, check out Head Meteorologist Josh Feldman’s piece on it here.

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Author

Kathleen is a Meteorologist at WeatherOptics, where she works writing content for the website, providing accurate and detailed forecasts to clients, and consulting on various meteorological projects. Kathleen earned her B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in 2018 from Stony Brook University. Kathleen has also done research into our changing climate by investigating theRole of Atmospheric Rivers on Arctic Amplification in 2017.

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