Dangerous blizzard and snow warm up Midwest and Northeast – AccuWeather.com/ar/
A significant warming will bring the January snow melt across much of the Midwest and Northeast this week. However, as moisture rises to areas, enough cold air will remain at the start of the pattern’s inversion to lead to slick traveling ice or blizzard conditions in more than a dozen states, AccuWeather meteorologists warn. Thawing can also cause travel issues as well.
A glassy layer of ice covered exposed surfaces in ice and halted travel from Oklahoma to Illinois on Monday morning. However, while moderate air moving over much of the Mississippi Valley will soon help melt the ice, the leading edge of the rain will freeze on trees, roads and sidewalks from Illinois into Ohio, southern Michigan, Pennsylvania, upstate and New York. England until midweek.
When the ice thickness reaches about 0.25 inches or more, it can weigh down trees enough to break them and cause power outages. This is most likely from northwest Arkansas to northern Ohio and the southern tier of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
Any accumulation of ice poses a danger to motorists and pedestrians. The ice may be so thin that it appears wet or different ice textures may provide traction in one place but be too slippery in another.
Interstates 70, 80 and 90 in the Midwest and central Appalachia will be hardest hit by the ice through Tuesday.
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Farther east in New England, many major roads in the central and northern part of the region will become icy for a period extending from late Tuesday into Wednesday.
Freezing precipitation is caused by a shallow layer of cold air closer to the ground as warmer air flows into the middle and upper layers of the atmosphere.
When the cold layer is thickest across the northern tier, snow and sleet will fall instead of freezing rain.
This cold layer will be thick enough to support accumulating snowfall for some time, especially from eastern Iowa and southern Wisconsin into upstate New York, and the northern tier of Pennsylvania and New England, where 1 to 6 inches of snow will fall.
The snow may start out dry and powdery but becomes wet and slushy as temperatures rise, with some sleet possibly mixed in with the snow.
There will be many airline delays and flight cancellations due to ice and snowstorms. Some of the major Midwest centers most affected will be Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis and Cleveland.
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As ice and snow expand into the Northeast, although wintry conditions will spare most major hubs, secondary regional airports, the starting and ending destinations for many airline passengers, will be negatively impacted with crews and aircraft displaced through Wednesday.
The next storm is expected to bring accumulating snow and then ice to New Hampshire, where the state’s primary elections will be held on Tuesday. Voters are urged to get out early to avoid the worst travel conditions later in the day and evening.
Melting snow provides a winter break but also creates problems
There is a possibility of fog formation in areas where the air temperature rises above freezing quickly and the ground is only wet, such as in Boston, Pittsburgh, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. This could lead to additional ground stops, flight delays and cancellations this week, even as it rises. Temperatures are well above the historical average for late January.
Highs in the 40s, 50s and 60s may be widespread during the second half of this week as the January snow melt begins.
The melting will be accompanied by areas of clouds and rain, even if fog is absent. Tuesday through Friday, most of the rainy spells will fall from the northwest Gulf Coast into the lower Mississippi River Valley and Ohio Valley and eastward to much of the Atlantic Coast. Motorists may encounter puddles during their trips as a series of storms emerge from the Gulf of Mexico.
There is a possibility of dense fog forming locally due to cold ground or remaining snow cover leading to further condensation.
The short arctic cold spell allowed only a relatively thin layer of ice to form on northern ponds, lakes and streams, said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Joe Lundberg.
The combination of rising temperatures and precipitation with already rising stream levels could lead to some flooding along unprotected waterways.
“Because of the thin ice, it is only likely that localized problems caused by ice jams will occur as the snowmelt accumulates,” Lundberg said.
Great Lakes ice coverage is 14% as of Monday, Jan. 22, well below the historical average for late January, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Typical ice coverage in late January is around 25% and peaks in late February to early March.
“The breakup of thin ice will also pose risks to fishing interests and other lovers of frozen lakes in the area,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said, adding that “little ice last winter and so far this winter has caused the ice fishing and Other”. In the Midwest and Northeast to take a hit.”
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