Much of the country is in a deep freeze after unseasonably warm weather. The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel reports.
As we kick off a new week, we may have a sense of deja vu from the Upper Midwest to northern New England.
"We're beginning to see the pattern across the northern United States become a bit more active now," says Tom Niziol, Winter Weather Expert for The Weather Channel. "There's a combination of more storm tracks going across the northern U.S. and Great Lakes and cold air being pulled down from Canada. That combination spells the return of winter."
Niziol has been tracking winter weather, and lake effect snow in particular, for decades. He was formerly the meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Buffalo.
So, let's lay out what we know about this next wintry threat.
Monday, the system will just be in its "organizing stages".
Light rain and drizzle will spread northward from the Lower Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley. By afternoon and evening, light rain (mainly south) or snow (north) will spread into the interior Northeast.
Meanwhile, light snow may swing out of the Rockies Monday into the Plains and Upper Midwest by Monday night.
Tuesday, it gets a bit more interesting.
Low pressure then tracks into the Great Lakes. With cold air in place, we expect a swath of accumulating snow in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes into northern New England and Upstate New York. Sound familiar?
At this time, here is the latest thinking on rough snowfall accumulation potential:
|6"+ potential||Lake Ontario snowbelt to northern Vt., northern N.H., northwest Maine|
|2-4"||Lake Erie snowbelt, Mohawk Valley of N.Y., central/northeast Maine|
|1-2"||western Great Lakes|
Strong winds may lead to reduced visibility and blowing snow by Wednesday morning in northern New England, creating difficult driving conditions.
For the I-95 urban corridor, you may see some wet snowflakes fall Monday night, but by Tuesday, that should change to rain. Only spotty slushy accumulations over a trace are possible in southern New England. Some light freezing drizzle or freezing rain may fall for a period of time in valley locations from northeast Pennsylvania to western Massachusetts, as well.
One other concern may be another "flash freeze" event in parts of the Ohio Valley, then interior Northeast Tuesday into early Wednesday, whereby wet pavement from earlier rain freezes after the Arctic cold front sweeps through. You can see this potential by comparing the Tuesday forecast highs to the Wednesday forecast lows below.