Fox News Weather Center

Winter Storm to Evolve Across Midwest This Weekend; Northeast Next Up

The punches just keep coming from Old Man Winter as a significant winter storm may sweep from the Midwest this weekend into the Northeast by Groundhog Day.

In the wake of the Blizzard of 2015 that hit Long Island and New England and a late-week Alberta Clipper storm for the Midwest and Northeast, two new systems will come together in such a way as to develop another storm this weekend.

One system originating from the northern Pacific Ocean and another off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, may join up over the central Plains early in the weekend. Areas of rain and spotty thunderstorms will gather over Texas and the southern Plains on Saturday, while a swath of snow expands over the northern Plains with a wintry mix in between.

Because the storm will have a strong southern component, it has the potential to tap into plenty of moisture from Pacific Ocean and later the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. Precipitation amounts could be substantial with the storm as it moves along from the Central to Eastern states.

Enough snow and a wintry mix can occur around Kansas City, Missouri, to make for slippery travel on Saturday. Meanwhile, folks in Omaha, Nebraska, may have to break out the shovels and plows to handle the snowstorm.

As the storm progresses eastward, people in St. Louis that may be slipping and sliding on Sunday. Chicago may end up with its biggest snowstorm of the winter so far.

According to Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "Several inches of snow are possible in Chicago, depending on the track of the storm."

Multiple storms earlier during January have delivered 2-4 inches of snow to the Chicago metro area.

Abrams stated that there is a great deal of uncertainty this far out concerning the storm's intensity and track as it moves along farther east.

"If the two systems remain separate they will tend to compete with each other and precipitation amounts from the Midwest to the East will be light and sporadic. However, if the two completely join forces, there is the potential for heavy precipitation, some being snow, some being rain, some being a combination thereof," Abrams said.

The storm will have a wedge of warm air moving along its southern side. This warm air will be a player in the primary form of precipitation in the Ohio Valley, central Appalachians, mid-Atlantic and southern New England from later in the weekend into Groundhog Day, which is Monday, Feb. 2.

Cities along the path of the storm from Sunday to Monday that could receive a combination of snow, rain and perhaps some ice include Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Providence, Rhode Island.

A shift in the track to the south or north, due to cold air holding its ground or retreating, will determine what form of precipitation the bulk of the storm will bring. However, even if the storm mixes with or changes to rain from the Ohio Valley to southern New England, enough wintry precipitation can occur to make for a period of slippery travel and perhaps cause disruptions to daily activities.

Rain, snow or a wintry mix could add significant weight to drifted snow on some of the flat roofs on Long Island and southern New England following the blizzard of 2015, which could increase the risk of collapse.

All or mostly snow is favored at this time from moving eastward from Chicago to Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo and Albany, New York, and Portland, Maine.

The strength of the storm as it moves along will determine the amount of not only precipitation, but also wind, blowing and drifting snow and coastal flooding.

In the South, a period of rain and perhaps locally strong thunderstorms will sweep from west to east Sunday into Monday.

Another burst of cold air will sweep into the Midwest and Northeast following the storm next week.

Updates on this storm will continue on