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Fox News Weather Center

Northeast, Midwest Winter Storm to Precede Harsh Cold

A winter storm remains on track to disrupt travel across a part of the Midwest and Northeast before opening the door for the harshest cold blast since last winter to arrive.

The storm, which began its journey across the United States by bringing ice and snow to the Northwest, is ending the weekend by spreading snow across the southern Plains.

Ahead of the storm, strong thunderstorms are a threat along the central Gulf Coast.

As the storm turns northeastward, snow or a wintry mix will intensify and spread across more of the lower Midwest states during the evening and overnight of Sunday, then the interior Northeast on Monday.

The storm is expected to be a mainly snow event from the lower Ohio River to the eastern Great Lakes, resulting in a swath of 3 to 6 inches of accumulation.

"Fast movement of the storm will limit the duration of the precipitation, including snow, so that snowfall over 6 inches is unlikely to occur over a broad area," stated AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Places in line to receive the heaviest snow include Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Buffalo, N.Y., as well as stretches of Interstates 64, 65, 70, 71, 77, 79, 80 and 90. Motorists should prepare for slick and hazardous travel.

A coating to an inch or two of snow will fall northward to St. Louis and Detroit, also resulting in slippery conditions.

The rest of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys and the Northeast will escape an all-snow event as enough warm air will arrive to allow rain to fall or at least mix in.

However, there will still be some snow or icy mix at the front or backside of the storm. The areas of greatest concern for this wintry mix to cause issues for motorists will be back toward the Appalachians, including in Binghamton and Albany, New York, or State College and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Any slick conditions that develop at the storm's onset in Portland, Maine, Hartford, Connecticut, or Allentown, Pennsylvania, would be brief and quickly washed away by rain.

The I-95 corridor from Boston to New York City to Washington, D.C., should escape all signs of winter precipitation, but not the brutal blast of arctic air that will follow the storm.

As this cold air rushes in, it should not catch up with the rain to bring these cities a quick burst of snow. However, any lingering puddles could turn icy later Monday night as the arctic blast arrives.

Most roads in the I-95 corridor should be dry before temperatures plunge below freezing.

Sosnowski quickly added that the same cannot be said for places farther to the west as lingering wet or slushy areas from the Midwest to northern New England will freeze in the wake of the storm.

The arctic blast following the winter storm will be the harshest since last winter in terms of actual temperatures and even lower AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures.

Record lows will be challenged, including in the South, as the lake-effect snow machine is cranked up in high gear around the Great Lakes and feet of snow results.