Potential winter storm could bring snow, ice to Midwest, South and East next week

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More Lake Effect Snow Incoming

Snow and ice may take aim on a swath of states from the Midwest and South to the Northeast early next week as a new weather system develops in the central states and heads east. Though many states could see wintry weather from this potential storm, there remains a great deal of uncertainty in the details, which is not uncommon this far in advance.

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Potential Snow and Ice Setup

The first ingredient in this wintry setup is the arctic air being ushered in by strong high pressure. This will bring the coldest temperatures of the winter so far to the Northeast this weekend.

The southerly wind flow on the western flank of that high-pressure system in combination with upper-level energy and surface low pressure to its west will help pull moisture north into the cold air, resulting in the possibility of snow and ice.

MORE: Coldest Air of the Season Incoming


Snow and Ice Setup

Upper-level energy and surface low pressure push east into cold air supplied by high pressure in the East as moisture returns north.

How all of the above-mentioned features will evolve and interact is not clear at this time. But here's what we do know:

  • Forecast guidance disagrees on the track and strength of the weather system moving east from out of the central states, which makes it difficult to pinpoint the location of where we may see significant amounts of snow and/or ice.
  • The severity of any snow or ice in the Southeast depends on how long and how far south sufficient cold air (32 degrees or below) will remain in place and how much moisture moves into that cold air.
  • Eventually low pressure may pivot northward inland, near, or off the Northeast coast early next week. The track of this low will determine whether parts of the Northeast region see snow, rain or nothing at all.
See more winter weather across the U.S. so far this winter:
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Snow, winter weather 2015-2016 season across the U.S.
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Potential winter storm could bring snow, ice to Midwest, South and East next week
Snow falls on a person as they wait for a bus in downtown Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Two women run through a snow flurry Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
A bus window is covered by snow and ice, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, in Evanston, Ill. Snow has now overspread nearly all of the Chicago Metro area early Sunday afternoon and is expected to continue into the night before ending. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A girl uses a campaign sign for Chris Christie to help her parents clear snow from their car after attending a campaign stop by the Republican presidential candidate, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Dover, N.H. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Jeremy Kincaid clears a sidewalk with a snowblower after a snow storm Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Derry, N.H. The storm was New Englandâs biggest snowstorm so far this season, coming two weeks after a massive blizzard engulfed much of the Eastern Seaboard but largely spared Boston and points north. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A pedestrian walks past a grove of snow-covered trees Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Marlborough, Mass. What started off as rain Friday morning quickly turned to sticky, heavy snow. Many school districts in the region closed for the day, including in some in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)
A pedestrian passes in front of an American flag as snow falls in Manchester, N.H., Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Stoic New Englanders doggedly went about their business Friday as a winter storm that could drop close to a foot of snow in some areas struck the region. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Dave Chiokadze, left, and James Radcliffe, volunteers for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, walk through the snow knocking on doors in search of Trump supporters Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Londonderry, N.H. The twenty-two year olds, both from out-of-state whoâve never been involved in politics, are on the front lines of Trumpâs ground war in New Hampshire, where the billionaire businessman is under intense pressure to win big. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Althea LeBlanc, 9, jumps off a snow bank after a snow storm Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Derry, N.H. The storm was New Englandâs biggest snowstorm so far this season, coming two weeks after a massive blizzard engulfed much of the Eastern Seaboard but largely spared Boston and points north. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Snow falls on a couple as they cross Penn Ave. in downtown Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Charlie Anderson, 13, rests while clearing snow outside his home in Towson, Md., Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. East Coast residents continued to dig themselves out after a massive weekend snowstorm. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)
Street lights are illuminated as a jogger runs around Lake Harriet, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 in Minneapolis a heavy snow storm. Parts of the Midwest including southern Minnesota experienced blizzard conditions. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Sharee Sanderson, left, sleds down a hill with her daughter Calli Sanderson in Flagstaff, Ariz., Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. A winter storm dropped snow across Arizona on Monday, from the state's high country down to the desert region bordering Mexico. (AP Photo/Josh Biggs)
Grace McGuire of Washington shovels out her car in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, as the nation's capital digs out following a monster weekend snow. East Coast cities hit hard by a massive snowstorm are getting closer to their normal routines after more than three days with life at a virtual standstill. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Students on the campus of Northern Arizona University navigate through blustery weather in Flagstaff, Ariz., Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. A winter storm dropped snow on the region, closing schools and making travel difficult. (AP Photo/Josh Biggs)
A snowplow clears snow off of Interstate 80 near Earlham, Iowa, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. A winter storm that dumped heavy snow on Denver and much of Colorado has moved east into Nebraska and Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Rob Bitz rests on his bicycle in the snow along a street Sunday, Jan.17, 2016, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Flagstaff resident Ruth Tilman sweeps off her car after a storm in Flagstaff, Ariz. on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. A series of El Nino-related storms dumped heavy snow on the region. (AP Photo/Josh Biggs)
An attendee arrives in the snow for a Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump campaign stop, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Portsmouth, N.H. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Michaela Witt sleds down a hill into Pasley Park on Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Sioux Falls, S.D. A major winter storm impacting the central U.S. could bring several inches of snow to southeastern South Dakota. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
Peter Best and Mackenzie Kuhl hold hands while walking across the Stone Arch Bridge, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Minneapolis. A winter storm is expected to dump up to a foot of snow in south-central Minnesota before it tracks north and east. (Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via AP)
Judith Fourzan takes a walk around Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. A heavy snowfall created a winter playground for El Pasoans after several inches remained from an overnight storm. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP) 
A jogger makes his way along a snow-covered street in the Hudson Park neighborhood, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Albany, N.Y. Snow, sleet, freezing rain and gusty winds are creating treacherous driving conditions across upstate New York as eastern parts of the state receive their first severe weather of the winter season. The National Weather Service says 1 to 4 inches has fallen from the Albany area northwest to the Mohawk Valley and north to the southern Adirondacks. The weather service has posted winter weather advisories for all of New York on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Barb Grams of Bremerton, Wash., looks up at the snowflakes coming down after getting out of church in Silverdale, Wash., Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. (Larry Steagall/Kitsap Sun via AP) 
A Iowa DOT plow clears snow to widen the path along Highway 63, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Waterloo, Iowa. (Matthew Putney/Waterloo Courier via AP)
Children sled in Spellerberg Park, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, Sioux Falls, S.D. A major winter storm impacting the central U.S. could bring several inches of snow to southeastern South Dakota. (Jay Pickthorn/The Argus Leader via AP) 
Briana Betancis, 14, and Deziree Dominguez, 12, fly down a hill at Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. A heavy snowfall created a winter playground for El Pasoans after several inches remained from an overnight storm. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP) 
Miles Overstreet throws snowballs to his dog Ferris as they play at Madeline Park in the Kern Place neighborhood of El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. A heavy snowfall created a winter playground for El Pasoans after several inches remained from an overnight storm. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP)
Wayne and Linda VanBerkun snowshoe near their home in southeastern Sioux Falls, S.D., Monday, Dec. 28, 2015. A major winter storm impacting the central U.S. could bring several inches of snow to southeastern South Dakota. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
Eastbound motorists on the Beltline highway in Madison, Wis. trail a snow plow working to clear the roadway Monday, Dec. 28, 2015.The storm system that spawned weekend twisters in North Texas brought winter storm woes to the Midwest on Monday and amplified flooding that's blamed for more than a dozen deaths. (AP Photo/John Hart, Wisconsin State Journal)
LUBBOCK, TEXAS - DECEMBER 27: A highway worker tries to shield himself while walking to his truck on December 27, 2015 in Lubbock, Texas. Coming on the heels of several strong tornadoes, some northern parts of Texas are experiencing blizzard conditions with wind gusts up to 50 mph and as much as 13 inches of snow forecast. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
A man's umbrella blows inside out as he walks along downtown Salt Lake City Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. The first major winter storm of the season dumped up to a foot of snow in some parts of the Salt Lake City metro area, snarling traffic on morning commutes to work and school. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
NEDERLAND, CO - DECEMBER 15: Steve Hauser plows snow in the Caribou Shopping Center in Nederland, Colorado on December 15, 2015. Snow is expected to continue throughout the day. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
An unidentified motorist clears snow off his four-wheel-drive vehicle in high winds early Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015, in Denver. Forecasters predict that four to 10 inches of snow will blanket Colorado's eastern plains before the storm, which started Monday in the intermountain West, moves to the east. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
NEDERLAND, CO - DECEMBER 15: A yellow lab waits patiently in his owner's snowy old truck along East 1st Street in Nederland, Colorado on December 15, 2015. Snow is expected to continue throughout the day. The dog looked warm and didn't wait long in the car as his owner returned shortly after an errand in the town. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Motorists are stacked up in a line of vehicles slowed to a crawl along Logan Street by high winds driving granular snow into drifts early Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Denver. The biggest winter storm to hit the Denver area so far this season is making the morning commute a mess, causing many spinouts and crashes in the slippery snow and delaying flights by an average of about an hour and a-half at Denver International Airport. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
DENVER, CO - DEC. 15: Anna Renton, 7, right, relaxes while neighbor Graham Langner, 7, has a snow fight with his nanny, Ashely Kish.The Denver metro area received more snow than expected overnight, closing schools across the city with some areas measuring a foot of snow by the early morning. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
John Malsbary, front right, joins forces with Joe Gray, back right, to push a sedan driven by Rebecca Conway out of a curbside spot where the vehicle was stuck early Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015, in Denver. Forecasters predict that four to 10 inches of snow will blanket Colorado's eastern plains before the storm, which started Monday in the intermountain West, moves to the east. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
LAKEWOOD, CO - DECEMBER 15: Crut Liles clears snow from his walkways outside his home in Lakewood, December, 15, 2015. Many schools in the area are closed due to the snow storm. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DEC. 15: A CDOT crew runs their plow truck southbound on Colorado Blvd. near E. 13th Ave. in Denver. The Denver metro area received more snow than expected overnight, closing schools across the city with some areas measuring a foot of snow by the early morning. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Six year old Caroline Randolph plays in imitation snow falling from a storefront in Northport, Ala., as she enjoys the Dickens Downtown celebration Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. Rain and thunderstorms, rather than snow, dampened the holiday festival. (Gary Cosby Jr./The Tuscaloosa News via AP) 
Missy Thomas dumps a shovel full of snow in front of her niece and nephew Alora, 3, and Daine Thomas, 2, as they try to bury a small pumpkin in a mound of snow while their aunt clears her driveway Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in Bismarck, N.D. (Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
A pedestrian crosses North Seventh Street in Bismarck early Tuesday morning as the first snowfall of the winter season passed through North Dakota leaving several inches of wet heavy snow across the state. (Tom Stromme/Tribune via AP)
Plows clean up a street after the area received heavy snow in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. A record-breaking snowstorm lingering over the northern Plains on Tuesday caused slippery roads, but brought much-needed moisture to the region. (Jay Pickthorn/The Argus Leader via AP)
Tom O'Hara snowplows on the sidewalk with his dog, Smokey, by his side after the area received heavy snow in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. A record-breaking snowstorm lingering over the northern Plains on Tuesday caused slippery roads, but brought much-needed moisture to the region. (Jay Pickthorn/The Argus Leader via AP)

Julie McCabe, of Boulder, carries her dog "Scout" in the snow on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (Jeremy Papasso/Daily Camera via AP)

Enric Sabadell, of Boulder, scrapes the ice off his windshield before heading to a friends house for Thanksgiving dinner, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 in Boulder, Colo. (Jeremy Papasso/Daily Camera via AP)
Al Frelk walks his dog, Shiba, 10, in Lords Park in Elgin, Ill., on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Asked about the snow, Frelk said, 'It's beautiful, but can be tough to drive in. Though Shiba has been waiting 9 months for this.' The first winter storm of the season dropped more than 10 inches of snow at numerous Chicagoland locations. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
People walk about as first snow of the year falls, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The National Weather Service says heavy snowfall was expected Friday afternoon into early Saturday in parts of northwest and north central Iowa. Meteorologist Kevin Skow says the heaviest snow ban is expected to fall from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, down to Dubuque. (Brian Powers/The Des Moines Register via AP)
Hope Peterson, 22, and Alex Cutler, 24, both of Sioux Falls, shovel the sidewalk in front of Cutler's parents' house during the first snow of the season Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
Ground crew throws snowmelt to the snow covered seats before an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A woman cleans snow from her car on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Northbrook, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Harvey Wollman, of Sioux Falls, uses a snow blower to clear the sidewalk near his house during the first snow of the season Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
A car moves slowly on the road during a snowstorm, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Northbrook, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Cars are covered by snow in rental car parking lot at O'Hare International Airport, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Chicago. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A woman walks on the street during a snowstorm, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Northbrook, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Bridger Wagner, 3, plays in the snow in front of his house during the first snow of the season Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
Fans wait in the snow covered seats before an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
A security personnel waits in the snow covered stands before an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Brittany Tappen stands next to her vehicle, one of several that were stranded by ice and snow on the northbound off ramp from I-25 to Baptist Road during the morning commute north of Colorado Springs, Colo., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. The storm system that dropped a foot of snow in the Rockies was making travel hazardous as it headed east on Wednesday, menacing the Plains with heavy snow and threatening turbulent weather, even tornadoes, in parts of the Midwest. (Mark Reis/The Gazette via AP) 
Snow is plowed from the street during a heavy snowy day on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Northbrook, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Jim Paulson, of Sioux Falls, shovels part of his driveway before using the snow blower to clear the rest during the first snow of the season Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Sioux Falls. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17: Snow hit the Denver metro area having an impact on air travel at Denver International Airport. They were clearing out from the snow on Tuesday, November 17, 2015. Raul Hernandez shovels snow in the economy lot. Hernandez and his crew had worked all night to clear snow. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
A woman walks her dog in fresh snow at Chautauqua Park, in Boulder, Colo., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. An overnight storm dropped more snow in the mountains of Colorado, but left only a few inches in the Denver area. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Vehicles move slowly on the road as snow falls Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Wheeling, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
LAKEWOOD, CO - NOVEMBER 11: Brandon Nelli, a student at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, shovels snow during a Veteran's Day snow storm the moved into the area overnight, November, 11, 2015. Lakewood got almost 3 inches in some areas form the storm. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Summer Wagner, of Sioux Falls, shovels snow from her driveway during the first snow of the season Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 11: A blanket of white snow covers Fort Logan National Cemetery during a Veteran's Day snow storm the moved into the area overnight, November, 11, 2015. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Curtis Hansen, left, and Jeff Malley push a motorist up the icy northbound off-ramp from I-25 to Baptist Road Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015, north of Colorado Springs, Colo. The storm system that dropped a foot of snow in the Rockies was making travel hazardous as it headed east on Wednesday, menacing the Plains with heavy snow and threatening turbulent weather, even tornadoes, in parts of the Midwest. (Mark Reis/The Gazette via AP) 
A woman runs in fresh snow at Chautauqua Park, in Boulder, Colo., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. An overnight winter storm dropped more snow in the mountains of Colorado, but left only a few inches in the Denver area. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
MONUMENT, CO. - November 17: Bob Swift clearing his driveway of a deep drift of snow in Monument, CO. November 17, 2015 Monument, CO (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
A woman walks with an umbrella during a snowstorm, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Northbrook, Ill. The first significant snowstorm of the season blanketed some parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow and more was on the way Saturday, creating hazardous travel conditions and flight delays. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Salvador Gonzalez, left, and his 11-year-old son, Julio, build a snowman near their home as a storm, which is packing high winds and snow, blankets the plains Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in Aurora, Colo. The storm has closed much of Interstate 70, Colorado's main east-west highway, because of blizzard conditions on the Eastern Plains as well as in northwest Kansas. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Now that we've outlined the uncertainty, let's take a look at the forecast for early next week. Keep in mind, however, that the forecast you see on weather.com or on your mobile app will likely change the next few days, so be sure to check back often for the latest updates.

MORE: One of Warmest, Wettest Winters So Far

Sunday-Sunday Night

  • Areas to watch: At least light snow may develop across the Midwest to as far south as the Ozarks of northern Arkansas and eastward into portions of the mid-South and Ohio Valley. South of the snow zone, a strip of sleet or freezing rain is possible.
  • Potential impacts: It's too early to say, but all of the above-mentioned locations have the potential to see at least light snow and/or ice accumulations.
  • Potential cities: Louisville, Kentucky | Nashville | St. Louis


Sunday's Forecast


Sunday Night's Forecast

Monday

  • Areas to watch: Snow possible from the Ohio Valley into the Appalachians on Monday. Moisture may overrun subfreezing air near the surface, leading to the potential of freezing rain and sleet in parts of the Tennessee Valley and Piedmont from parts of Virginia, western/central North Carolina to north Georgia, northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. How far south and how long the sufficient cold remains in place will dictate the extent of this icing potential.
  • Potential impacts: Accumulating snow possible in Appalachians and Ohio Valley. The possibility of icing in the above-mentioned areas could at least cause slick travel conditions and, if subfreezing surface temperatures persist longer, could lead to some tree damage and power outages.
  • Potential cities: Atlanta | Cincinnati, Ohio | Greensboro, North Carolina


Monday's Forecast

Monday Night-Tuesday

  • This portion of the forecast remains uncertain, and depends on the track and strength of any low-pressure system that moves through the East.
  • Computer model forecast guidance ranges from mainly light precipitation in the Northeast and parts of the Southeast to heavier amounts of rain, snow or ice.
  • Check back with weather.com for updates.


Monday Night's Forecast

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