January 1, 2015 - NORTH AMERICA - A storm that brought rare snow to Southern California and the Southwest at midweek will spread a swath of snow, ice, rain and travel problems from Chicago to Boston this weekend. The storm will strengthen and take a track toward the lower Great Lakes this weekend.
First Winter Storm of 2015 to Unfold From Chicago to Boston This WeekendAccording to AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "There will be disruptive snow and ice north of the storm track."
Heavy snow, substantial ice and drenching rain will be associated with the storm, despite its fast movement. While travel problems will generally be limited to a day or so, areas that receive a heavy amount of ice or wet snow could have lengthy power outages.
After depositing a swath of snow and ice over parts of the central and southern Plains to close out the week, a swath of ice and snow will extend northeastward from northern and western Illinois to a large part of of Michigan and central Ontario during Saturday and Saturday night.
A swath of slippery travel will stretch across the general area from Kansas City, Missouri, to Chicago and Detroit. The first part of the storm will occur as ice or a wintry mix, then transition to snow over the Upper Midwest. However, the heaviest snow from the storm will fall north and west of these cities from central Kansas to Iowa, central and southeastern Wisconsin and northern Michigan.
People traveling in or through these locations should anticipate slippery roads, flight delays and possible flight cancellations.
Warm air would win the battle in most areas south and east of the storm track with the major form of precipitation being rain with some snow or wintry mix limited to the onset of the storm. Most of the storm will be rain in the Ohio Valley, including the cities of Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Louisville, Kentucky.
Gusty winds, lake-effect snow and snow showers may cause sporadic travel delays in the wake of the storm later Sunday.
Cold air will linger during the first part of the storm in a large portion of the Northeast, such as central and northern New England and the Interstate-81 corridor from Pennsylvania northward.
The storm will spread over the area from southwest to northeast spanning late Saturday into Saturday night.
A period of accumulating snow and ice will change to rain around Boston, Albany, New York, Hartford, Connecticut, and State College, Pennsylvania.
From part of central Pennsylvania to the southern tier of New York state, enough ice buildup can occur to weigh down trees and cause power outages.
According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno, "Central and northern New England have the potential for a significant snow and/or ice event and multiple hours of slippery travel on the front side of the storm prior to any warmup."
"At this time, it appears most locations along the I-95 swath from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York City would still warm up quickly with all or mostly rain for the storm," Ranyo said.
The storm will then end from west to east on Sunday.
Similar to the Midwest, gusty winds may cause some flight delays Sunday into Monday with lake-effect snow and snow showers from the central Appalachians to the lower Great Lakes.
Rain, locally gusty wind and low cloud ceilings could still cause flight delays and problems for motorists in a large part of the South and in areas farther north that receive mostly rain this weekend.
Parts of the South may also have to contend with locally gusty thunderstorms as the storm's cold front swings eastward.
Storms may affect the lower Mississippi and Tennessee valleys on Saturday into Saturday night, then part of the southern Atlantic Seaboard on Sunday.
Snow, Arctic Blast to Return Across Northern Plains This Weekend
An Alberta Clipper will bring snow, wind and another blast of frigid air to part of the North Central states this weekend.
Moderate snowfall is forecast to develop across northeastern Montana, northern North Dakota, and northern Minnesota Friday into Friday night. The heaviest snowfall will occur along the U.S./Canada border over northern Minnesota and northern North Dakota where some locations could receive 6-12 inches of snow.
Along with snowfall, winds will pick up Friday night where gusts up to 35 mph are possible. This will lead to blowing and drifting snow making travel dangerous at times.
According to Accuweather.com Meteorologist Ben Noll, "Winds over the weekend could gust over 40 mph, especially over North Dakota."
Major traffic delays will be expected across Interstate 29 between Fargo, North Dakota, and the Canadian border as well as Interstate 94 between Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Billings, Montana.
As the system moves through, a blast of cold air will come down from Canada on Saturday. "After the passage of the cold front, temperatures can drop over 20 degrees F during the day Saturday," Noll said.
Temperatures are expected to drop rapidly throughout the day Saturday into the single digits or even below zero. Combined with 20- to 30-mph winds from the north, AccuWeather Real Feel® Temperatures will dip between -20 to -40 degrees.
According to Accuweather.com Meteorologist Randy Adkins, "This will be the coldest air mass of the season so far across the Rockies and Plains."
Sunday will be the coldest day of the weekend as high temperatures will be well below zero across North Dakota and Minnesota. Some locations may struggle to reach -20 F for a daytime high.
"The cold weather is expected to last into the middle of next week with temperatures remaining well below average," Adkins said.
This storm system will merge with another area of low pressure over the Missouri Valley on Saturday and will bring snow to the Great Lakes late Saturday through Sunday.
Soon after one blast of cold air settles to the east and south, another blast of frigid air will take aim on the Midwest and Northeast starting during the middle of next week.
Storm to Regenerate Over Texas Spreading Snow, Ice Into Missouri and Kansas
A storm moving out from the Southwest will regenerate on Friday and will produce a swath of slippery travel in parts of Texas to the central Plains into the weekend.
One batch of ice affected Texas and the southern Plains on New Year's Day.
The remnants of this first batch will move northeastward and fade Thursday night. However, a narrow swath of ice will affect part of northern Arkansas, southern Missouri and western Kentucky into Friday morning.
Know when the rain will start or stop down to the minute by using AccuWeather MinuteCast®.
The storm will get a second wind and strengthen heading into the weekend.
Rain and thunderstorms will ramp up over coastal Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley.
As the storm continues to roll northeastward into a thicker dome of colder air, rain and ice will transition to snow over the central Plains. At the same time colder air will sweep eastward farther to the southwest.
According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "A swath of ice and rain will be followed by accumulating snow in parts of northwestern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and northwestern Missouri at the end of the week."
People traveling around Amarillo, Texas; Wichita, Kansas; and Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri, should be prepared for slippery conditions and delays Friday night into Saturday.
"Enough snow to shovel and plow is likely from central Kansas to northern Missouri," Sosnowski said.
Motorists should be prepared for snowy and slippery travel over a long stretch of Interstate-35 in northern Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Delays due to deicing activities are possible at Kansas City.
The storm will move on to the Midwest and Northeast with a large swath of snow, ice and travel disruptions later in the weekend. - AccuWeather.