Snowstorm to kick off spring in northeastern US

Unsettled Weather for the Northeast
Unsettled Weather for the Northeast

By Alex Sosnowski for AccuWeather

A snowstorm will affect part of the Northeast from Sunday into early Monday with the greatest amount of snow and wintry weather occurring across New England.

Following a southward push of arctic air, a storm will move northeastward later this weekend.

It will track close enough to the coast to bring some snow to parts of the mid-Atlantic and a heavy snowfall with increasing wind in southern, central and eastern New England.

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The storm will cause travel delays later this weekend in the mid-Atlantic.

Impact from the storm may continue into Monday in New England, in the form of disruptions to daily activities.

The greatest amount of snow will be on non-paved surfaces for this storm.

Whether or not snow falls at a heavy enough rate to cause slippery roads in the Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York City corridors is questionable, since the snow will be wet.

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Since the storm will not be at its peak intensity while affecting most of the mid-Atlantic, the snow will struggle to accumulate in some locations.

Some of it will melt as it falls. However, pockets of moderate snow accumulation can occur.

Warm road surface temperatures, some daytime snowfall and even rain mixed in for a time will be factors from Virginia to New Jersey.

Energy from the strong March sun will cut snowfall rates during the daylight hours.

During the daytime in March, the rate of snow must be heavy to overcome the warm ground and solar effects.

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"Elevation and rural versus urban areas will play a role in the mid-Atlantic," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek. "Hilly areas over the countryside could receive exponentially more snow than in the heart of large urban areas along Interstate-95, typical of March snowstorms."

Motorists should still exercise caution, especially on bridges, overpasses, secondary roads and rural roads in higher elevation areas. Even where snow failed to accumulate much during the day, some major highways could get slippery at night.

Since the storm will strengthen by the time it reaches New England, where most of the snow will occur during Sunday night, snowfall will begin to ramp up on a more regional basis.

"The best setup for a nor'easter with heavy snow and wind will be in New England," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.

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Many areas in southeastern New England will receive a moderate to heavy snow fall, on the order of 6 inches or perhaps more, which spans Sunday night into Monday morning. Locally heavy snow is possible on central and eastern Long Island as well.

How much snow falls will depend on how strong the storm becomes. The Monday morning commute could be quite wintry in much of New England.

The storm may generate enough of a breeze to cause some blowing and drifting snow in New England. It may also cling to and weigh down some tree limbs. A few sporadic power outages are possible as a result.

No worse than minor coastal flooding and beach erosion can occur at times of high tide along the eastern coast of New England and perhaps in parts of northern New Jersey and along the north shore of Long Island during Sunday night.

In the wake of the storm chilly weather will linger in the Northeast on Monday and into Tuesday. Warmer air will return at midweek and cause any remaining snow to melt.

More from AccuWeather:
Late-March frost could spoil early-spring planting attempts in eastern US
US spring forecast: March snow to threaten Northeast
17-year cicadas to swarm eastern US this spring

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