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Travel Alert: Heavy Snow, Wind Next Week

Areas of heavy snow and strong wind from the Midwest to the Northeast will cause travel problems and could cause power outages.

A major storm will roll out of the northern Rockies later this weekend and will reorganize in the Northeast next week.

Snow

Heavy snow from the storm will first streak across the northern Plains to the Upper Midwest Sunday into Monday.

The storm will bring travel problems across the I-94 corridor from Montana to North Dakota and central and northern Minnesota. Cities in the path of the snow include Bismarck and Fargo, N.D., and Minneapolis, Duluth and International Falls, Minn. Some locations along this path could receive upward of a half a foot of snow with local whiteouts possible.

It is looking much less likely for a major snowfall in Chicago and Detroit at this time, but rather a general area of 1- to 3-inch snowfall is possible from Chicago to Detroit and Cleveland.

As the northern storm moves farther east, a second storm will form in the vicinity of the Appalachians and Atlantic coast Monday into Tuesday. The new storm will give new intensity to the precipitation in the Northeast, where cold air will linger in northern, interior areas.

Just enough cold air will be around to allow snow to fall from part of the central Appalachians northward to upstate New York and interior/northern New England. However, exactly where that rain-snow line sets up is questionable at this stage. It could be as far south as south-central Pennsylvania to central New England or farther north toward the Canada border and shift position during the storm more than once.

As we have warned about this past week, there is the potential for the rate of snow to be intense and the accumulation heavy and wet. Half a foot of snow or more could fall in a few hours, prior to any mix over or complete change to rain. Enough wet, clinging snow can fall to down tree limbs and power lines in some areas.

Cities that have a chance at receiving this sort of treatment from the storm include Rochester, N.Y., Burlington, Vt., Worcester, Mass., Concord, N.H., Augusta, Maine, and Montreal, Quebec.

Where no rain mixes in across the northern tier, over a foot of snow could fall.

A number of locations over the interior mid-Atlantic to central New England could have some sort of combination of rain and snow from the storm.

At this point, it still appears the swath from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston will have all or mostly rain.

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Wind

The storm has the potential to bring strong enough wind to impact area airports from the Upper Midwest to the East Coast, even where snow is not of great concern. The gusts could also be strong enough to break tree limbs and hence bring sporadic power outages.

As the two storms join forces Monday night into Tuesday, wind gusts on the back side can top 50 mph from Minneapolis to Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati.

The belt of strong winds can reach farther east as well. Strong winds are possible from Pittsburgh and Buffalo to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston on Tuesday.

In portions of the East, there is also the potential for strong winds on the front side of the storm system. In parts of the South, severe thunderstorms would be the mechanism for the risk of damaging winds.