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East Coast Weekend Storm May Be Strongest of the Bunch

As the latest winter storm delivers a swath of snow reaching more than 1,500 miles at midweek, another snowstorm is being monitored for this weekend.

The timing of the storm as it travels from the Rockies and Southwest is Saturday to Sunday over the Central states and Sunday to Monday in the East.

The upcoming storm could be the most intense, and correspondingly the most disruptive, of the recent barrage especially as the storm nears and moves along the Atlantic coast.

The storm would affect major hubs in the East, such as New York City, Philadelphia, Washington and Boston during next Monday's commute.

Many airlines may still be trying to catch up and get back on schedule in the wake of the recent storms.

One scenario suggests the storm may develop into a blizzard as it nears the Atlantic Ocean. As a result, people from Virginia to Maine will need to watch this one carefully.

If the storm develops to its full potential along the mid-Atlantic coast, it may deliver not only snowfall rates of several inches per hour to inland areas of the Northeast, but also strong winds.

These winds would cause extensive blowing and drifting snow over the central Appalachians to New England with local whiteout conditions. A period of strong onshore winds would bring coastal flooding and beach erosion over the upper mid-Atlantic to eastern New England. A return flow from the west would bring cold air back in quickly to the coast.

Such a storm, depending on its track, would try to pull warm air in at the height of the event, causing a change to rain along the mid-Atlantic coast to southeastern New England. However, the storm could become so intense that it later wraps cold air around, perhaps leading to a change back to snow and a flash freeze in these same locations.

Another scenario would be for the storm to behave more like other storms have done recently with a period of moderate to heavy snow streaking across part of the Midwest to part of the Northeast. Winds would be significantly less and probably not a factor. Overall, a more manageable storm would occur.

Either way, it appears another disruptive storm for travel and daily activity concerns will sweep from the Central states to the East Coast.

In both scenarios, rain would fall across the Deep South and some snow would sweep across part of the southern Plains during Saturday night and the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians on Sunday. A period of snow would also streak eastward across the Midwest cities of St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati and Cleveland.

However, a stronger storm would imply more thunderstorm activity and a greater risk for severe weather in part of the Southeastern states.

The details on the nature of storm for this weekend will unfold in the coming days.

At least most areas in the path of the snow will have several days to prepare for the storm, instead of the short-order snowfall of late.

The Sunday to Monday weather event will not mark an end to the stormy pattern. Additional storms are on deck through at least the middle of February.