The first weekend of 2015 will be active as a storm stretches from the United Kingdom to the Balkans.
Travelers heading back after the winter holidays will be experiencing wet weather from rain to snow throughout the weekend. Meanwhile, skiers hitting the slopes for the weekend will be happy to see some new snow in the higher elevations.
The storm will stretch from Ireland and the United Kingdom Friday night and across France, Germany and the Alps Saturday, before bringing rain and snow to Slovakia, Hungary and southeastern Europe on Sunday.
Jump to: Friday Night: Ireland and the United Kingdom | Saturday: France, Germany, Czech Republic, Alps | Sunday: Southern Poland to Southeastern Europe
The storm will develop over Ireland Friday night and streaks across southern England and Wales into early on Saturday. Most precipitation will fall as rain, but across Northern Ireland and the midlands of England could see some snow mixing in.
Throughout the day on Saturday, precipitation begins to wind down, with rain and snow ending across England and Wales by the evening. When the storm is said and done, cities such as Leeds and Sheffield could have several inches of snow.
London is expected to stay as rain throughout the storm, bringing about half of an inch of rain through Saturday afternoon. Across Ireland, southern England and Wales, rainfall totals are expected between 5 mm and 15 mm (0.2-0.6 of an inch).
Although some drizzle is possible across Ireland and Scotland on Sunday, high pressure helps to bring in drier weather for the first half of the new week.
The storm pushes into Belgium and northern France early on Saturday, with just a few showers. Farther inland across southern German, however, rain in the lower elevations will change over snow in the evening, allowing for accumulations.
Snow will push across southern Germany and through the Alps Saturday night, lingering into Sunday across the higher elevations.
While most regions are not expected to see more than 15 cm (6 inches) of snow, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Tyler Roys commented that "up to half of a meter (about 20 inches) of snow could fall in some places across the Alps."
From the higher terrain of eastern Europe through the Czech Republic, colder air in place will allow precipitation to fall mostly as snow. Starting Saturday afternoon, this snow is expected to continue accumulating into Sunday. This includes the lower elevations and the city of Prague.
The storm across central Europe marches eastward for the second half of the weekend on Sunday. Although snow will start Saturday night in some places of the eastern Czech Republic and southern Poland, the snow continues throughout the day Sunday and into Sunday night for places like Krakow, Poland and Brno, Czech Republic.
The largest snowfall totals are expected in the higher elevations of Slovakia, with as much as 15 cm (6 inches) of accumulations.
Snow persists Sunday and Sunday night across northern Hungary, western parts of the Ukraine and Romania. Most of these areas will have some snow, but not as much in the way of accumulation. After moving over the Alps on Saturday, the storm will lose strength.
Farther south, from inland parts of Croatia to Serbia and Bulgaria, a southerly flow will keep it warm enough that only rain will be falling Sunday. Precipitation will become spottier for Sunday night.