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High-impact winter storm affects the region over the weekend

Summary: 

A strong storm system will move from the Southern Plains to the Tennessee Valley Saturday morning, and subsequently to just south of Pittsburgh, PA Saturday night. The storm will likely redevelop near the I-95 corridor between Philadelphia and New York City late Saturday night, and will continue to near Boston Sunday morning. Heavy interior snows are expected from this system, and heavy rain for areas mainly SE of the I-95 corridor. In between will likely see snow to start, then changing to sleet and freezing rain, and in some areas significant icing, before changing to rain in some of those areas.

As the system pulls away Sunday morning, ALL areas will change to snow at least briefly from NW to SE as cold air rushes in on the back side of the system, and ALL areas will experience a flash freeze Sunday afternoon and evening. It will also become increasingly windy Sunday afternoon through Monday.

Impacts and Timing:

Impacts will be high for ALL areas, regardless of dominant precipitation type. Expect heavy snow for areas along and NW of I-95 in PA/NJ to break out Saturday afternoon, which will continue as heavy snow north, and begin to change to sleet, then freezing rain from south to north on Saturday evening and overnight. Far northern areas will remain all snow or a mix of sleet and snow. Southern areas that started as snow/mix will transition to plain rain for a time later Saturday night and marginal areas in the middle may remain below freezing and experience extensive icing issues. Heavy rain and flooding concerns will present themselves closer to the I-95 corridor and all points SE. Northern and central areas will end as snow at least briefly before ending as the cold air rushes in and a flash freeze will occur in ALL areas on Sunday afternoon and evening. Windy conditions will develop behind this system accompanying the cold air advection, with wind gusts over 40mph expected from Sunday afternoon through the overnight, and much of Monday. Very cold temperatures Sunday and Monday nights will be in the single digits, and in some places, below zero with dangerous wind chills Sunday night and Monday.

Expect impacts to include, but not limited to:

  • Heavy snow in northern regions that will make travel nearly impassable.
  • Heavy icing expected in central areas that start as a thump of heavy snow, then transitions to rain
  • Power outages are expected to be higher than usual with the combination of heavy snow, heavy rain, freezing rain, and windy conditions Sunday afternoon through Monday, especially in the β€œred zone” on the ice map below
  • Thunderstorms will be possible in southern NJ and DE mainly when the low pressure moves by late Saturday night and early Sunday morning
  • Flash freeze will occur behind this system, and all wet roads, slush, and standing water will freeze rapidly Sunday afternoon and evening. Black ice will be a travel hazard since wet roadways will not be able to be treated in advance where rain is occurring or has occurred.
  • High wind gusts expected to be over 40mph at times region wide from Sunday afternoon through Monday

Timing is generalized, but expect precipitation to move in generally from west to east during the course of Saturday afternoon from west to east. Precipitation will end from west to east from Sunday early to late morning, and likely as brief snow for central and northern areas.

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