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Quick-hitting rounds of snow to cause slippery travel in eastern US into next week

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Along with the return of colder, more seasonable air, two storms will bring snow to the eastern United States into next week.

The storms, sometimes referred to as Alberta Clippers, are named for the province in western Canada where they often originate from and their fast-moving nature.

The storms are generally associated with cold air and light snow, due to a lack of moisture. However, they can bring moderate to heavy snow on occasion, especially if they strengthen and slow down upon reaching the Atlantic coast.

"The first clipper storm will drop across the Midwest during Saturday night and will reach parts of the central and southern Appalachians on Sunday night, before turning toward the mid-Atlantic coast on Monday," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Static first clipper


Snow with the first storm will generally be more of a nuisance.

The snowfall will be light and spotty with most areas likely to receive a few flurries to a coating. However, some locations, especially over the mountains from south-central Pennsylvania to eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, can pick up a couple of inches of snow.

Enough snow can fall to make roads slippery from parts of Missouri and Illinois to portions of eastern Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey with the first storm.

"A second clipper storm will drop southeastward next week," Pydynowski said. "The storm will enter the upper reaches of the Midwest on Monday and likely exit the New England coast during Wednesday."

Static second clipper


Initially, the second storm will be poorly organized with small patches of snow from the Ohio Valley and central Appalachians to the Great Lakes region.

However, within these patches of snow, there can be a coating to a few inches of accumulation. Some areas in the Midwest and Appalachians may barely get enough to sweep away. A few communities within this zone can get enough snow to shovel and plow.

The second storm has the greatest potential of the two to quickly strengthen upon nearing the Atlantic coast, which could make it much more disruptive as a result.

How quickly the strengthening occurs with the second storm will determine if and where 6 inches of snow accumulates in the northeastern US Interstate 95 corridor.

"Winds will kick up surrounding the second storm, which can cause some blowing and drifting snow, along with poor visibility," Pydynowski said.

"Both storms can bring enough of a temperature rise and fall to cause the snow to initially melt, then freeze on some roads," Pydynowski said.

Before, during and after the clipper storms will be lake-effect flurries, squalls and shifting bands of steady snow to the lee of the Great Lakes. The lake-effect will bring its share of slippery and dangerous travel into next week.