A developing storm off the Southeast coast may track close enough to the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts for accumulating snow to end the week.
This storm will form along a cold front which produced soaking rain and severe weather across the eastern United States at midweek.
"Very often an elongated front moving through the eastern U.S. this time of year will have an area of low pressure develop along it," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Matt Rinde said.
"This generally slows, stalls or even retrogrades the front from continuing eastward," he added.
Several factors will need to come into place for accumulating snow to occur from portions of Delaware to Massachusetts during Thursday night into Friday.
If the developing storm stays weak, the storm will likely take a more northeasterly track and bring less snow to the area. However, if the storm strengthens quickly, the storm may take a more northerly track and extend accumulating snow farther inland, perhaps to New York City and Philadelphia.
"It will be a close call in New York City and Philadelphia, but any accumulating snow could come prior to or during the first part of the morning rush," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said. "However, any accumulation on pavement in the city centers is unlikely with temperatures above freezing."
The more likely location for accumulating snow will be from portions of Delaware to Long Island and southeastern New England.
"Areas farther east of New York City and Philadelphia are more likely to see snow impact the Friday morning rush hour, including Boston, Brockton and Plymouth, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island," Pydynowski said.
Snow may even reach southern and Down East Maine and parts of Nova Scotia during Friday afternoon.
"Only a slight shift in the track of the storm could lead to more or less snow in some locations," Rinde said.
In most areas, precipitation will begin in the form of rain during Thursday night as surface temperatures remain well above freezing. As colder air builds into Friday morning, precipitation will change over to snow. The changeover will occur earlier across the inland areas and later near the coast.
Given the recent warmth and rain across the East Coast to begin February, snow will need to fall heavily to accumulate on any roadways. Most of the snowfall will accumulate on non-paved surfaces.
If snowfall is heavy enough, roads could turn from wet to slushy and lead to slippery travel during Friday morning.
The heaviest snow is likely to fall across southeast Massachusetts. Some areas could receive a quick 3 to 6 inches of snow.
"Given the track of the storm, the greatest chance for more than 3 inches will be across Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket toward Boston," Pydynowski said.
Temperatures on Friday are expected to hover in the mid- to upper 30s F from southern New England to the lower 40s across the mid-Atlantic coast. Should any snow coat roads or sidewalks, the mild air will melt most of the snow that accumulates once the storm departs during Friday afternoon.
Conditions will clear out by the afternoon as high pressure builds across the region. The weekend will be dry with partial sunshine along the East Coast. Highs during the weekend from southern New England to the mid-Atlantic will be in the 40s.