Snow and rain will target Central and Eastern US through the weekend

Snow & Rain for Eastern US

By Linda Lam, Weather Channel

Rain and snow will impact parts of the Plains, Midwest, South and Northeast into this weekend as a series of disturbances from out of the western U.S. ride the jet stream eastward.

(MORE: Series of Storms in the West This Week)

The northern side of this system will bring periods of snow from the Front Range into the northern Plains and the Upper Midwest. A wintry mix will also develop on the southern edge. In general, snow and/or ice amounts should be light, but could still contribute to slick travel conditions.

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Snow and rain will target Central and Eastern US through the weekend
PORTLAND, ME - DECEMBER 29: A taxi cab makes its way along the Eastern Promenade early Tuesday morning, December 29, 2015, as snow wallops Portland for the first winter storm of the year. (Photo by Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - DECEMBER 29: Monument Square took on the look of winter Tuesday, December 29, 2015, as the first storm of the season hit Southern Maine with snow, sleet, and ice. (Photo by Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - DECEMBER 29: John Yates (cq) of KD Landscaping clears the sidewalk in front of the Maine International Trade Center on Congress Street Tuesday, December 29, 2015, as the first major snowstorm of winter hit the state. (Photo by Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Rain and a few thunderstorms will be found farther south from the central and southern Plains to the East Coast. The good news is widespread heavy rain is not currently expected. However, any rainfall over the areas hit by recent flooding will not be welcomed.

Here's an overview of the forecast the next few days.

Thursday's Forecast

Wintry side:

Snow will become more widespread from the Front Range through the central and northern Plains and into Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan by later Thursday and Thursday night. A mix of rain, snow and sleet is possible from central Kansas and eastern Nebraska to northern Iowa, southern Wisconsin and portions of Michigan.

Snow accumulations overall should be light, but could still cause travel problems.

(FORECAST: Denver | Minneapolis | Des Moines)

Rainy side:

The risk of rain will slide eastwards on Thursday, stretching from the central Plains into the Mississippi Valley. Rainfall total in most locations will be under an inch, but any rainfall in areas that have recently or are still experiencing river flooding is not good news.

(MORE: River Flooding To Continue Into Mid-January)

Rain will continue to spread east into the Southeast and Ohio Valley Thursday night.

There is also the chance of an isolated severe thunderstorm in extreme east Texas and southern Louisiana.

(FORECAST: St. Louis | New Orleans | Atlanta)

Friday and Into the Weekend

Wintry side:

Snow will persist through much of Friday from the Rockies and central Plains into the northern Great Lakes. Once again, accumulations should be light.

Another area of low pressure may bring snow or a mixture of rain and snow to parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes this weekend. Snow accumulations should be on the light side, but there are some indications that portions of Michigan may see some heavier snow by Sunday.

Wintry conditions may reach portions of the interior Northeast, although milder air in the East will keep the rain/snow line close to the Canadian border.

By Friday night, snow is likely in parts of Upstate New York and northern New England, while a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain will stretch from northern Pennsylvania into New York and portions of central New England. Northern New England will continue to find wintry conditions through Sunday.

(FORECAST: Albany | Burlington, Vermont | Portland, Maine)

Rainy Side:

Rain showers are expected over parts of the Lower Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Appalachians on Friday, although rain should taper off to just a few scattered showers by the second half of the day.

Another round of rain, locally heavy, will develop over the Lower to Middle Mississippi Valley early Saturday, moving east into the Tennessee Valley, Southeast, Appalachians and Middle Atlantic region by Saturday night.

As this system tracks eastward, rain is forecast across much of the East into Sunday, with locally heavy rain possible over parts of the Northeast to close out the weekend.

(FORECAST: Raleigh | Cleveland | Boston)

Rumbles of thunder may also occur in parts of the South through the weekend, but any severe storm threat should remain fairly low and confined to areas near the immediate Gulf Coast.

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