Snow, ice and rain cause travel headaches in the Midwest and Northeast

A coast-to-coast storm will bring a host of weather hazards as it moves east into the Midwest and Northeast later this week. AccuWeather Meteorologists warn. Heavy rain and wind will be the most ever-present troublemakers, threatening a number of travel delays, and the storm will also have a wintry side, with the possibility of heavy snowfall in some northern plain locations. Between the rain and snow areas, an icy mix could make for slippery conditions.

The upcoming storm will be much stronger than a storm earlier in the week, which brought patchy snow and a wintry mix to parts of the Ohio Valley, central Appalachia and the Northeast Coast Sunday through Monday morning. It will also tap into more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean — enough for severe weather to be an issue as the system sweeps through parts of the southern United States.

Before the storm system caused its share of headaches in the central and eastern US, it wreaked havoc and unleashed in California earlier this week torrential rain, flooding, power outages and heavy snow in the mountains on Monday.

As Wednesday’s storm begins to push east across the plains, patches of rain will first break out in parts of the central plain and in the mid-valleys of Mississippi and Ohio. BATTERY WEATHER


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As that humidity swings north into increasingly cold air Wednesday night, sleet, freezing rain and snow will develop in northeastern Kansas and northern Missouri, as well as parts of upstate New York and New England.

Areas in northern New England and adjacent areas of Ontario and Quebec, Canada have the best chance of receiving a significant amount of snow, on the order of several inches to a foot or more (10-30 cm (0.98 ft) (0.98 ft s) (0.98 feet)).

Enough snow or an icy mix may occur to make roads slippery for a period of time Wednesday night through Thursday morning in parts of upstate New England and parts of upstate New York, including along portions of the New York Thruway, I-87 and the I-91.

Temperatures can fluctuate during the storm, and changes of 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit could explain large differences in snow and ice accumulations — and also play a role in how long wintry conditions last in some locations.

Sleet, freezing rain and snow are possible in northeastern Kansas and northern Missouri and over parts of upstate New York and New England on Wednesday evening. BATTERY WEATHER

One of several major cities and transport hubs that forecasters will keep an eye on is Chicago.

“With the storm likely heading south and east of Chicago, there may be just enough cold air to allow for one or more snow spells,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Matt Benz.

One period occurs on the front of the storm, while the other may occur as the storm moves away.

“Because Chicago is in the zone where both snow and rain can fall heavily for a time, it’s possible to accumulate several inches from Thursday afternoon through Thursday evening when the precipitation is all snow,” Benz said. “It’s also possible that frequent snow showers could develop on Friday ahead of Lake Michigan.”


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In either case, the roads could be slippery due to the wintry conditions surrounding the Windy City.

The timing of this potential snow and slippery conditions, particularly Thursday, could wreak havoc on evening rush hour and air travel to and from Chicago, including O’Hare and Midway International Airports.

The storm will primarily bring rain along long stretches of busy freeways like I-80 and I-95 farther south. BATTERY WEATHER

Farther east, “it appears that most of the precipitation is in the form of rain for the Detroit area, but it may turn into a heavy, wet snow for a few hours later Thursday night,” said Brett Anderson, AccuWeather’s chief meteorologist.

As the storm continues to build Thursday night, there will be an extensive area of ​​moderate to heavy snowfall from northeastern Ontario to far northern New England through Friday morning.

Farther south, the storm will bring mostly rain to long stretches of busy freeways, including I-80 and I-95.

“This will be a rainstorm for the I-95 corridor with gusty winds Thursday night through early Friday,” Anderson said. The combination of rain and wind can cause many travel problems on the roads and delays at airports.

A secondary storm may develop along the Atlantic seaboard, just as colder air rushes in at the end of the week, allowing for the potential for winter precipitation, including for some major cities in the Northeast, which has so far fallen well short of normal seasonal snowfall.

If the storm forms fast enough and moves near the coast, it could result in another rainy spell along I-95 for some time Friday night. However, if the storm intensifies quickly, it could draw in just enough cold air to create a swath of snow from near New York’s Hudson Valley to New England, maybe even NYC and BostonFriday night.

A return of cool air will be enough to bring some snow showers to a wide area from Michigan to the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and western New York starting Friday, whether or not a secondary storm will form through Saturday. Motorists may encounter slippery conditions and poor visibility.

While a major outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes is not expected, enough warm and humid air will flow north from the Gulf of Mexico jet stream Energy digs into the region. Both factors will combine to trigger severe weather in parts of the southern states beginning Wednesday night and into Thursday night.

Threats include all types of severe weather, from flash flooding and strong gusts of wind to hail and some tornadoes on portions of Interstate 10, 20 and 40 corridors.

Produced in collaboration with AccuWeather.

The Western Journal did not review this story prior to publication. As such, it may not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided as a service to our readers by The Western Journal.

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