Winter Storm Olympia named, snow and ice to impact Midwest, South and Northeast through Tuesday

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Winter Storm Olympia To Bring Mess Over Large Area


The Weather Channel:

Winter Storm Olympia will bring snow and ice to a number of states from the Midwest and South into the Northeast to start this week. The storm was named Sunday morning after the National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings from parts of central Kentucky to western Virginia. The number of people in those warnings exceeds The Weather Channel's population requirement of two million for named winter storms.

(MORE: How Winter Storms Are Named)

The first ingredient in this wintry setup is the arctic air that has been ushered in by strong high pressure in the East. This has brought the coldest temperatures in decades to some Northeast cities.

(MORE: Valentine's Weekend Cold Outbreak)

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 snow and ice in the Midwest and South first.

Click through images from East coast Winter storm:

18 PHOTOS
#Blizzard2016 aka Winter Storm Jonas slams the east coast
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Winter Storm Olympia named, snow and ice to impact Midwest, South and Northeast through Tuesday

A massive winter storm system pummeled the eastern United States in late January 2016, with two low-pressure systems merging into a potent nor’easter that dropped heavy snow from Virginia to New England. By late afternoon on Jan. 23, snowfall totals were approaching records in several states, and hurricane-force winds were battering the coastlines and leading to serious flooding. The storm was expected to continue through the morning of Jan. 24.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired this image of the storm system at 2:15 a.m. EST on Jan. 23. It was composed through the use of the VIIRS “day-night band,” which detects faint light signals such as city lights, moonlight, airglow, and auroras. In the image, the clouds are lit from above by the nearly full Moon and from below by the lights of the heavily populated East Coast. The city lights are blurred in places by cloud cover.

(Photo via NASA)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 23: A woman walks in strong winds and heavy snow fall in Central Park on January 23, 2016 in New York City. A major Nor'easter is hitting much of the East Coast and parts of the South as forecasts warn of up to two feet of snow in some areas. (Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A man use a skiing on a snow covered street in Manhattan in New York on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on January 23, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A pedestrian walks in the center of a snow-covered residential street in Washington, DC on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on January 23, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

January 22, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): Massive #snowstorm blanketing #EastCoast clearly visible from @Space_Station! Stay safe! #blizzard2016 #YearInSpace

TOPSHOT - A man lays in a pile of snow in Times Square on January 23, 2016 in New York. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on January 23, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 23: Waves crash on the beach on January 23, 2016 in Cape May, New Jersey. A major snowstorm is upon the East Coast this weekend with some areas expected to receive over a foot of snow. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Nuns from the Fraternite Notre-Dame in Chicago, Illinois are covered in newly fallen snow as they walk along Constitution Avenue while snow begins to accumulate January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. A major snowstorm is forecasted for the East Coast this weekend with some areas expected to receive up to 1-2 feet of snow. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Snow covers cars parked in Washington on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on Saturday, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A man pushing a snow plough during a snowstorm January 22, 2016 in New York. / AFP / FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images)
A man walks on snow covered Thomas Circle in Washington on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on Saturday, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: A snowplow cleans up snow on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the U.S. Capitol January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. A winter snowstorm is forecasted for the East Coast this weekend with prediction of up to 30 inches of snow for the DC area. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - The White House is seen during a snowstorm in Washington January 22, 2016. Thousands of flights were cancelled and supermarket shelves were left bare Friday as millions of Americans hunkered down for a winter storm expected to dump historic amounts of snow in the eastern United States. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - People cross 15ht Street during a snowstorm in Washington January 22, 2016. Thousands of flights were cancelled and supermarket shelves were left bare Friday as millions of Americans hunkered down for a winter storm expected to dump historic amounts of snow in the eastern United States. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A Homeless covers from the snow in Central park on January 23, 2016 in New York. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on Saturday, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A man walks past a restaurant during a snowstorm January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. Thousands of flights were cancelled and supermarket shelves were left bare Friday as millions of Americans hunkered down for a winter storm expected to dump historic amounts of snow in the eastern United States. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 22: Vehicles move along Interstate 40 as an overhead sign indicates 'Winter Weather Warning In Effect' during a winter storm on January 22, 2016 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A major snowstorm is forecasted for the East Coast this weekend with some areas getting a possible one to two feet of snow. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
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Then a low-pressure system will track near the East Coast, bringing wintry weather to parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, but also changing precipitation to rain for some, as well.

Let's first look at our latest forecast timeline. Keep in mind, however, that the forecast you see on weather.com or on your mobile app will likely change the next day or so, so be sure to check back often for the latest updates.

Sunday-Sunday Night
  • Areas to watch: A broad area of light to moderate snow will fall from the Upper Midwest into the Lower Ohio Valley. Some sleet or freezing rain is possible in southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, western Kentucky and west Tennessee intially. That area of snow then spreads into the rest of the Ohio Valley, Appalachians, Virginia and the Piedmont of North Carolina by Sunday night. Some freezing rain is possible on the southern end of that precipitation shield Sunday night in the southern Appalachians and parts of the Carolinas.
  • Potential impacts: Slick roads (particularly bridges/overpasses) are possible due to sleet/ice accumulations in Missouri/Arkansas. Ice accumulations look light enough to avoid widespread power outage, tree damage impacts. Typical slippery roads in light/moderate snow areas.
FORECAST: Louisville, Kentucky | Nashville | St. Louis





Monday
  • Areas to watch: Snow spreads into the mid-Atlantic states, Lower Hudson Valley and southern New England. Moisture may overrun subfreezing air near the surface, leading to the potential of freezing rain and sleet for a period of time from parts of southern New Jersey and southeast Pennsylvania to Virginia to most of North Carolina, northern South Carolina and northeast Georgia. How far south and how long the sufficient cold remains in place will dictate the extent of this icing potential.
  • Potential impacts: Accumulating snow in the Ohio Valley, Appalachians and mid-Atlantic will lead to slippery roads. 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 sporadic downed tree limbs and power outages.
FORECAST: Atlanta | Cincinnati, Ohio | Greensboro, North Carolina



Monday Night-Tuesday
  • The greatest chance for significant snowfall accumulations will be well west and northwest of the I-95 corridor in the Northeast, from the Appalachians to western Pennsylvania, western, central and Upstate New York and northern New England.
  • Locations from Boston to Washington, D.C. may see a mixture of precipitation types before transitioning to plain rain.
  • Some ice may linger in the Piedmont of Virginia and the Carolinas before possibly changing to rain, and may also occur, for a time into northern New Jersey and parts of western/northern New England.
  • With low pressure expected to take a track near the coast or just inland, warmer air will penetrate much of the I-95 corridor, preventing this storm from being a major snow maker along the coastal plain.
FORECAST: Pittsburgh | Buffalo | Syracuse




How Much Snow, Ice?

For the Northeast and Midwest, this will be a modest snow event, by mid-February standards.

Most areas of the Midwest should pick up less than 6 inches of total snowfall.

In the South, the heaviest snow accumulation may occur in a swath from Kentucky to Tennessee and the Appalachians, where some totals could approach or locally top 6 inches.

In the Northeast, the heaviest accumulations will likely occur in a swath from the Appalachians to central New York and northern New England.

Lighter snow accumulations, before the change over to rain, will occur along the I-95 corridor from Maine to Virginia. Some parts of the I-95 corridor could then pick up over an inch of rain Tuesday.

In general, ice accumulations in southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, western Kentucky and west Tennessee, and also in a swath from north Georgia to parts of southern New England should be enough to make roads slick for a time, but less than the threshold for producing widespread power outages and downed trees.

Except for a few, isolated valley locations where cold air may get trapped longer, such as the Shenandoah Valley, most of these areas are expected to see temperatures rise near or slightly above freezing, also mitigating the effects of any freezing rain or sleet that would fall.

MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Snowflakes Under a Microscope

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