A large winter storm was dumping snow in North Dakota on Friday. It was expected to bring snow and/or ice to the South on Saturday. Then, it would turn toward the East Coast where rain and snow are likely, according to forecasters.
Uncertain details about which East Coast cities will see snow and how much remain. Some airports and transportation departments were aware of potential travel problems.
David Roth, a senior forecaster at the National Weather Service, stated Thursday evening that forecasters expected the forecasts would evolve.
“There’s more uncertainty than usual,” Mr. Roth said. “When we’re dealing with the difference between rain and sleet and freezing rain and snow, subtle changes make a big difference.”
Early Friday morning snow was falling in parts of central North Dakota and eastern North Dakota. according to the Weather Service in Bismarck. They said that road conditions were already rapidly deteriorating. Many cities were under a Winter Storm Warning through Friday. Parts of that state could see heavy snow accumulations of more than eight inches, according to meteorologists.
“This snow will combine with gusty winds to produce slippery, snow covered roads and significantly reduced visibility,” the Weather Service said on Twitter. “Travel will likely become hazardous to dangerous at times.”
The storm is expected move southeast towards Iowa on Friday. Many cities will be under a warning for winter storms Friday through Saturday. According to the Weather Service in Iowa, snow accumulations of 6-10 inches are possible in both central and northern Iowa.
Southwest Airlines advised that travelers who pass through Des Moines International Airport may experience delays, diverted flights or cancellations. Other cities under the airline’s travel advisory include St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., and Omaha, Neb. Similar announcements were made by American Airlines and Delta regarding the weather.
According to the Weather Service office at Paducah, Ky., the storm could bring wintry weather to areas of western Kentucky, Southeast Missouri, and snowfall amounts up to 4 inches.
The storm system will continue moving southeast towards upstate South Carolina, northeast Georgia and western North Carolina on Saturday. From Saturday evening through Monday morning, there will be a winter storm watch in place for dozens of cities. According to the Weather Service, mixed precipitation is possible in the region, with snow accumulations up to 10 inches and possible accumulations of ice.
Dave Nadler, a meteorologist at the Weather Service office in Peachtree in Georgia, stated in a briefing that some ice accumulation could be significant in northern Georgia.
“We are looking at the potential for a significant winter storm,” Mr. Nadler said. “The looks of that and the confidence of that is starting to increase.”
Mr. Roth stated that the storm system will then move northeast towards the East Coast. While wintry weather will be possible for several cities, including Washington and Philadelphia, as well as New York City, details on how much and what kind of precipitation are still unclear.
“We’d be in a transition zone where it might start as snow, then go to rain, then go back to snow,” Mr. Roth said.
For those who live along Interstate 95, Virginia, the uncertainty in forecasts could be alarming. This is after a snowstorm that left hundreds of drivers stranded for more than 24hrs in their cars.
The forecast is uncertain along the I-95 corridor to the east. However, the highest snowfalls and most significant impacts are expected west of the area. According to the Weather Service.
The Virginia Department of Transportation wasn’t going to take any chances and began spraying I-95 with a salt-and-brine solution on Thursday. This prevents ice from adhering to roads.
“On Sunday, drivers should avoid unnecessary travel with the chance of dangerous weather and road conditions during or even after the storm,” the department said in a statement. “Even with pre-treatment, icy to slick conditions remain possible.”
Finally, snow could be expected to New York by Sunday night or Monday morning. Some parts of the upstate could get as much as six inches of snow. However, New York City will not experience significant snowfall. Weather Service said.
Source: NY Times