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Chilly air to trigger lake-effect snow in northeastern US

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As colder air sweeps into the northeastern United States, temperatures will settle to seasonable levels, and lake-effect snow will erupt into this weekend.

Chilly air from the northern Plains will settle across the Midwest and into the Northeast through Friday. A push of even colder air will be blown southward from Canada and into the Northeast during the weekend.

It will feel colder than the actual temperature much of the time with AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit lower than the actual temperature. RealFeel Temperatures can dip into the teens in the northern tier and to the 30s during the daytime along the mid-Atlantic coast this weekend.

As temperatures continue to lower, lake-effect rain showers will transition to snow from west to east across the lower Great Lakes.

"Accumulations during the lake-effect snow event through this weekend will generally be measured in inches and not feet," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brian Wimer.

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"During Thursday night and Friday, snow showers can bring up to a few inches from parts of western New York, south of Buffalo to northwestern Pennsylvania and perhaps into northeastern Ohio," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis.

Some lake-effect snow will also develop over parts of central and northern New York state into Friday.

Highs on Friday will range from the upper 30s over northern New England and high ground over the central Appalachians within a few degrees of 50 over the I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic.

"As a surge of even colder air moves southward from Quebec and Ontario, a number of places across western and northern New York state, northern Pennsylvania and part of western New England may get a brief burst of snow during Friday night," Travis said. "This burst could quickly coat roads and could catch motorists by surprise."

Highs on Saturday will range from the lower 30s in northern New England to near 50 in southeastern Virginia.

During Saturday and Saturday night, bands of lake-effect snow will affect many of the traditional areas from northeastern Ohio to upstate New York. Portions of upstate New York may receive close to 12 inches of snow from the entire event with most areas receiving considerably less.

"The heaviest snow will mostly likely end up being over the Tug Hill plateau, located east of Lake Ontario in upstate New York," Wimer said.

Little or no snowflakes are likely to reach the swath from Boston to Washington, D.C., in the pattern through this weekend.

By Sunday, highs will range from the middle 20s in northern New England to the upper 40s to perhaps near 50 in southeastern Virginia. The only consolation is that most areas on the Atlantic coast will be sunny with little wind when compared to Saturday.

Looking ahead, changes taking place in the weather pattern across western Canada will set the stage for much colder air to push southward into the United States during the first full week of December.

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By the end of next week highs may be in the 20s around Chicago, close to the freezing mark. The cold outbreak may be preceded by another surge of warmth with rain along the Atlantic Seaboard during the middle part of next week.