A storm from the southern Plains has the potential to bring a few inches of snow from part of the Midwest and central Appalachians this weekend to the northeastern United States to start next week.
As is often the case, February is shaping up to be quite stormy at times for parts of the central and eastern U.S. The risk of significant travel disruption will increase with each storm into the middle part of the month.
Storms of more southern origin will follow storms of Canadian origin at the start of this week.
Snow or a wintry mix will spread from the middle part of the Mississippi Valley during Saturday to the Ohio Valley Saturday night. The central Appalachians will get hit on Sunday, while the coastal areas of the northeastern U.S. will be impacted during Sunday night.
How much snow falls and how difficult travel becomes will depend on how much warm air is drawn in from the south and the Atlantic Ocean.
The storm is likely to bring all snow around the Great Lakes, including areas from Chicago to Detroit and Cleveland.
"Similar to parts of the Ohio Valley, the area from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore and Philadelphia, it is a tough call between a few inches of snow and a rain/snow mix with little or no accumulation," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity.
"From the central Appalachians to New York City, including the northern and western suburbs from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, there is the potential for a few inches," Margusity said.
A significant amount snow may also fall on New England by Monday, depending on how quickly the storm strengthens upon reaching the Atlantic coast. If the storm strengthens quickly, blowing and drifting snow can come into play.
A major storm looms for next week
Another significant storm is likely to follow during the early and middle part of next week.
The path the storm takes and whether or not cold air holds its ground over the Great Lakes and New England will determine the primary form of precipitation for many areas from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic and southern New England.
Even if warm air takes over during the storm, a period of snow and ice can occur at the onset early next week.
Regardless of the amount of cold air across the northern tier, the second storm is likely to be the stronger of the two storms for early February.
The second storm is likely to enhance the north/south temperature contrast and raise the stakes for heavy precipitation in the Northern states and thunderstorms in the Deep South.
"The storm early next week is likely to bring heavy thunderstorms and the possibility of severe weather to Florida and perhaps other parts of the Southeastern states," Margusity said.
As a result of the stormy pattern, daily swings in temperature are likely as mild air pulled northward during the storms then chilly air is tugged southward in their wake through the middle of the month.