‘Hazardous’ travel ahead: Weekend winter storm to wallop Midwest and Northeast with snow and ice

‘Hazardous’ travel ahead: Weekend winter storm to wallop Midwest and Northeast with snow and ice

January 16, 2020

Story Highlights

  • Snow will fall Friday in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
  • Ice will be the story from the central Plains to the Ohio Valley.
  • By Saturday, heavy snow is expected in portions of Pennsylvania, New York and much of New England.

A winter storm will dump snow and ice across a wide swath of the northern U.S. on Friday and into the weekend, forecasters say, likely causing “hazardous” travel.

After walloping the West Coast with rain and snow as a “bomb cyclone,” the storm will move across the Plains, Midwest and eventually the Northeast.

The storm should cause “a fairly widespread area of travel difficulty over the central U.S. by Friday night, with very slippery roads and locally poor visibility,” the National Weather Service said.

Snow will fall Friday in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, AccuWeather said, with up to a foot possible in some areas. Blizzard conditions might develop in some areas due to blowing snow, the Weather Channel said. 

“This has the potential to be one of the most impactful winter storms of the season for the Upper Midwest,” said CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward.

Winter weather tips: How to drive safely in snow and ice

Further south, ice will be the story from the central Plains to the Ohio Valley. “Significant icing” is forecast across portions of Missouri and Illinois, according to AccuWeather.

A winter storm moving into the West could snarl travel as it tracks through the Plains, Midwest and Northeast Friday and Saturday: https://t.co/WEhfyMtva2pic.twitter.com/TJRGv5qhm9

“Areas from northeastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle to northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio can expect a thin glaze of ice that will make driving and walking slippery and hazardous,” according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

“We recommend avoiding any travel Friday if possible,” the National Weather Service in Kansas City said.

In Iowa, the weather service in Des Moines warned that the wet, heavy snow will combine with ice accumulations and gusty winds to bring the threat of downed power lines and tree branches.

By Saturday, heavy snow is expected in portions of Pennsylvania, New York and much of New England. A foot of snow or more could pile up in parts of the central Appalachians and New England.

Boston is forecast to be in the heavy precipitation zone, but the primary form of precipitation will depend on the battle between mild ocean air to the southeast and cold air over interior New England, AccuWeather said. If the mild air wins out, then only a moderate snowfall would occur. But if the cold air hangs on, then Boston could be looking at a 6- to 12-inch snowfall.

Further south, “enough snow and ice is likely to fall with this storm to create slippery travel from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore to New York City with a general coating to an inch or two forecast for these areas along Interstate 95,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dave Dombek.

Behind this storm, strong winds blowing over the primarily still warm and unfrozen Great Lakes will manufacture bands of heavy lake-effect snow Sunday, possibly lingering into Monday in the lake snowbelts, the Weather Channel said. 

A significant winter storm will affect northern and central portions of the country later this week with snow, sleet and freezing rain. Means of transportation will likely be impacted, so stay tuned for new information. #winter#freezingrain#snow#sleetpic.twitter.com/Vy6EhIhe1R

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