While a huge snowstorm is unlikely in the Midwest, the mid-Atlantic and New England this
weekend, snow is still in the offing over a large area.
The setup is rather complex. Instead of one major storm sweeping through the region, there will be smaller storms that can produce light to moderate snowfall. Essentially, the storms will compete with each other until they reach the Atlantic Ocean.
According to AccuWeather.com Winter Weather Expert Brian Wimer, "Even with the weaker storms, there will still be snow to shovel, roads to treat and travel delays this weekend, centered on the Midwest and Northeast."
One storm will attempt to push a batch of snow northward along the East Coast on Saturday.
How far north this snow gets will depend on how quickly the storm strengthens.
"There is a chance this snow gets farther north and becomes more robust than currently forecast," Wimer said, "There have been several storms that have overachieved in this manner this winter."
A bit of snow can even fall over part of the southern Appalachians from the same system Saturday then later in the weekend from the second storm system.
The second storm will push across the Midwest on Saturday. This system will bring snow to Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
As this second system nears the East Coast Saturday night and Sunday, it will begin to grab moisture from the Atlantic Ocean and perhaps the other storm nearby offshore.
As a result, areas of snow will develop farther north in the mid-Atlantic and New England, compared to what the Saturday storm delivered.
So if Philadelphia, New York City and Boston avoid the Saturday snow, another round of snow is possible Saturday night and Sunday from the Midwest storm.
As the two storms attempt to merge offshore at the last minute on Sunday, there is still a chance of heavy snow and moderate wind extending inland over part of the Northeast. The chance of this is the greatest over southern and central New England.
According to Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, "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."
One such storm may affect part of the eastern third of the nation with snow and rain on or before Valentine's Day.
The pattern will allow storms to move inland from the Pacific Ocean and grab moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and perhaps the Atlantic Ocean before heading out to sea.
The stormy pattern will have impact in the West.
Storms moving in from the Pacific Ocean are scheduled to drop heavy rain and several feet of snow in parts of California, Oregon and Washington into next week.
The moisture is desperately needed in parts of the West.