While the exact track and strength of the storm forecast to hit the Northeast on Tuesday has yet to be determined, snow, ice and rain will affect New England and part of the mid-Atlantic.
According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "Although the overall setup is not too cold by December standards, a storm that could form near New England early next week has the potential to cause travel disruptions."
How quickly a storm strengthens along the coast Tuesday into Tuesday night will determine the intensity and extent of a swath of snow versus rain and no precipitation whatsoever.
Most Likely: An Average of Two Scenarios
At this time, a team of dozens of AccuWeather meteorologists anticipate a swath of snow to develop over upstate New York and western and northern New England on Tuesday. This will be the main snow area for the storm, which is likely to continue into part of Tuesday night.
According to Meteorologist Ben Knoll, "Some locations from central New York to northern Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine could receive a foot or more of snow. The wet-clinging nature of the snow could lead to downed trees and power outages."
Marginal temperatures could cause some of the snow to melt as it falls on some of the roads. The snow would have to fall at a heavy rate to accumulate on paved surfaces outside of the mountains.
Rain is likely to fall during all or part of the storm in southeastern New England, including the Boston area. However, the storm could end as a wintry mix or all snow.
New York City will be near the back edge of the area of snow, sleet and rain, based on a storm forming and gaining moderate strength.
Least Disruptive: Storm Stays Weak, Moves Fast
If a storm forecast to move across western Canada this weekend fails to quickly spawn a new storm along the Northeast coast early next week, only a brief period of snow will affect interior New England.
Correspondingly, only a brief round of rain showers will sweep through coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and New England on Tuesday. Lake-effect snow, flurries and cold air would also be very brief in the wake of a weaker, fast-moving storm Tuesday and Tuesday night.
The Extreme Case: 'Bombogenesis'
If the storm was to strengthen a great deal, heavy snow could be thrown farther to the west and south, over New York City, much of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
In such and extreme case, snow could even wrap around as far south and west as Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
"Coastal flooding and strong winds would also be possible in this scenario in New England," Knoll said.
Strong winds from the departing, strengthening storm could lead to flight delays and a sweep of much colder air into the Northeast.
AccuWeather.com will continue to provide updates on the potential storm this weekend into early next week. This will storm will not only be of interest for those living in the region, but also anyone who is driving or flying into the area.
A fluctuation in forecast storm strength and track by as little as 100 miles could make the difference between road conditions being snow-covered, wet and perhaps dry.