The Great Lakes and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States will escape the blizzard targeting eastern New England, but not the strong winds that may create other hazards from Sunday to Monday.
Wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph will sweep from Wisconsin and Michigan on Sunday to the mid-Atlantic during Sunday night and Monday.
This includes in Detroit; Cleveland, Ohio; Buffalo, New York; Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; New York City; Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
The winds will howl along and behind the cold front that will combine with another storm to produce the blizzard threatening to bring Boston and Portland, Maine, to a standstill to start the new week.
There will be occasional gusts to 60 mph along the New Jersey coast, Long Island and in the mountains of West Virginia.
The strength of the winds could lead to sporadic power outages and downed tree branches. High-profile vehicles would be subject to dangerous crosswinds, and airline passengers may experience flight delays.
As the wind usher in fresh cold air, AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures will be held 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit below actual temperatures.
RealFeels will plummet to the single digits and teens throughout the Great Lakes on Sunday night.
As actual temperatures drop below freezing, any lingering wet areas from earlier rainfall or melting snow can turn icy on untreated roads and sidewalks.
Further hazards to motorists will unfold downwind of the Great Lakes as the cold winds will also ignite another round of lake-effect snow showers and squalls.
“Snow squalls will develop across Michigan, western Pennsylvania and western New York as cold winds whip across the Great Lakes from Sunday afternoon into Monday,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis said.
Snow showers and squalls will also develop southward into West Virginia, and downwind of Lake Huron in southwestern Ontario.
“These squalls will be capable of bringing extremely low visibility with white-out conditions at times and a quick accumulation of snowfall,” Travis said. “This will lead to travel difficulties for anyone driving.”
Motorists planning to travel on stretches of interstates 69, 75, 79, 80, 86, 90 and 99 should reduce speed and remain alert for sudden changes in the weather.
The short-duration of this lake-effect snow will prevent feet of snow from being measured. The highest amounts will generally be limited to 6 to 12 inches downwind of lakes Huron and Erie.
“As high pressure builds into the Great Lakes region during the day on Monday, the threat for squalls will diminish Monday afternoon and evening for most places,” Travis said.
However, another cold front and blast of wind will quickly follow for Tuesday and Wednesday and may trigger more lake-effect snow.
Whether or not a part of the Atlantic Seaboard will have to brace for another major winter storm in the day or two after Valentine’s Day will depend on the timing of when the front combines with another storm tracking up from the South.