The midwestern and northeastern United States are not only facing another bitter blast of arctic air during the first part of this week, but also snow showers and squalls that will bring hazards to motorists.
Fresh arctic air that will prove to be the coldest so far this season in many communities will sweep from the Midwest to the East on Monday through Wednesday, ushered in by an Alberta Clipper.
"This system will not only bring a renewed blast of mid-winter cold, but also the threat of snow showers and snow squalls," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee said.
The clipper is not expected to drop substantial snow accumulations until it reaches northern New England Tuesday night and strengthens. However, travelers across the rest of the Northeast and Midwest should not let their guard down.
The clipper will still produce a general coating to an inch or two from the Upper Midwest to west of Interstate 95 Monday into Tuesday, leading to some slippery travel.
The snow that the clipper initially drops into the Upper Midwest on Monday will prove to be more of a nuisance to motorists by putting a fresh powder on roads. However, as the clipper gains some strength Monday night into Tuesday, the danger of snow squalls will increase.
"With these squalls, deteriorating road conditions will be possible; featuring brief whiteout conditions and slick spots," Vallee said.
Snow squalls can be referred to as the winter cousin of severe thunderstorm squall lines and have been blamed for multi-vehicle pileups in the past. AccuWeather MinuteCast® can alert drivers of approaching snow.
Motorists should reduce their speed and leave plenty of space between vehicles.
Drivers may also want to consider exiting off interstates or highways to wait out the squall. Other than places immediately downwind of the Great Lakes, squalls will move through most communities in about 30 minutes.
The snow squalls will threaten Chicago on Monday night before targeting Indianapolis; Detroit; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; and London, Ontario, in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday. Lake-effect snow squalls will also occur downwind of lakes Erie and Ontario and in northern Michigan Monday night.
The danger of squalls will spread to Montreal, Canada; Albany and Binghamton, New York; Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Allentown, Pennsylvania; Charleston, West Virginia; and Lexington, Kentucky, on Tuesday.
Travel could become treacherous for a time on stretches of interstates 70, 75, 80, 81, 87, 90 and 99.
"While a snow shower or two may make it into the I-95 corridor later on Tuesday and Tuesday night, the threat for heaviest snow squalls will diminish," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson said.
This includes Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
As the snow squall danger lessens, the potential for more substantial snow will increase across northern New England Tuesday night as the clipper further strengthens.
"The storm will have the potential to produce accumulating snow across northern New England Tuesday night, especially Maine," Thompson said.
Bangor and Caribou, Maine, could face enough snow to plow and cause disruptions.
"It looks like the storm will form too far to the north to impact places farther to the south like Boston and Providence, Rhode Island," Thompson said.
Atlantic Canada would instead face the worst of the developing snowstorm at midweek. Parts of Newfoundland, Labrador and far eastern Quebec may face blizzard conditions, while the bitter arctic blast and more lake-effect settle over the Midwest and East.