Winter Storm Hunter spreading a mess of snow, ice from the Central Appalachians to Northern New England
By: Jonathan Erdman, Chris Dolce, Brian Donegan for Weather.com
- Snow and ice will move through the Northeast on Saturday.
- Heavy snow is possible from the eastern Great Lakes into northern New England.
- Portions of New England could see damaging ice accumulations.
- Accumulating ice could lead to slippery roads and some power outages elsewhere in the Northeast.
Winter Storm Hunter is now spreading its mess of snow and ice into the Northeast, but its time to impact the U.S. is limited as the low-pressure system will move into Canada by late Saturday afternoon. Some spots may see a foot of snowfall through Saturday.
As the cold front marches east, precipitation is changing from rain to freezing rain, sleet, then snow. The freezing rain line is slowly migrating eastward into portions of central and northern New England. Snow is persisting across portions of the interior northeast.
Black ice will be possible through Saturday morning from Tennessee to New York where rain or freezing rain-slickened roads freeze over.
(MORE: Schools Closed, Roads Slickened)
A menagerie of winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings extend from the Ohio Valley into the eastern Great Lakes and New England. These are posted in areas where travel is or is expected to be hazardous or dangerous.
Niagara Falls, New York saw 0.07 inches of ice accumulate before snow began to fly Friday evening.
As of early Saturday morning, 10.8 inches of snowfall was reported in Duane Center, New York.
Farther east, numerous street flooding and basement flooding was reported in eastern Massachusetts early Saturday.
In addition, over 130 reports of flooding came in Friday from parts of West Virginia, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and New York state, including the Buffalo and Pittsburgh metro areas.
- Snow will linger in central and upstate New York state and far northern New England.
- A band of sleet and freezing rain may persist from the Catskills and the Hudson Valley north of New York City into parts of western and northern New England.
- Mainly rain is expected in southeastern New England, but as temperatures quickly drop late this morning into the afternoon a flash freeze is possible, which could create slippery travel conditions.
Precipitation should taper off my late-afternoon across most of the region.
Ice Accumulation Forecast
- As mentioned above, precipitation may start as rain before changing over to a period of freezing rain or sleet as the Arctic cold air marches in.
- Over a broad swath of the interior Northeast, enough sleet or ice should accumulate to make many untreated roads, especially bridges and overpasses, slippery.
- In some areas, shown by the dark purple shading on the map below, higher accumulations may lead to some downed tree limbs or weaker trees and trigger some power outages.
- In the East, the heaviest snowfall is expected from the eastern Great Lakes to far northern New England.
- More than a foot of snow is possible in parts of western and northernNew York.
- This accumulating snow will likely occur after a layer of accumulating ice has been laid down in many of these areas.
Snowfall amounts up to 9 inches were reported Thursday in parts of the Plains, including 6.2 inches in Grand Forks, North Dakota, 6 inches in Bismarck, North Dakota, and 3 inches in Salina, Kansas.
In the upper Midwest, 2.8 inches of snow was observed at the National Weather Service office in Duluth, Minnesota.
An inch or two of snow was observed as far south as the Texas Panhandle early Thursday.
Blizzard conditions were observed in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service. A roughly 150-mile stretch of Interstate 29 was closed for several hours on Thursday morning north of Fargo, North Dakota, to the Canadian border.
To the south, wind gusts to 76 mph have been clocked near Garden City, Kansas, with a 68-mph gust reported at Midland International Airport in Texas.
A mess of sleet and freezing rain was followed by a splash of quick moving snowfall across portions of Illinois, Missouri and Indiana on Thursday and Friday with heavier snowfall reported across southern Illinois and Indiana.
Power outages were reported in Boonville, Indiana, and in Hopkins County, Kentucky. Power outages were also reported in parts of southeastern Michigan and southern Ohio, likely due to icing in these areas.
Across much of the Midwest, precipitation was layered with snow on top of ice.
Parts of western Kentucky and far southern Illinois picked up 3 to 7 inches of snow and sleet, including Murray, Kentucky, which saw 5 inches of the white stuff on top of 2 inches of sleet. Paducah, Kentucky, which saw 4.5 inches of snow on top of 1.5 inches of sleet. Several sites near Bowling Green, Kentucky recorded 0.25 inches of ice.
In Illinois, as much as 5.1 inches of snow fell in Carrier Mills, Illinois while Carbondale picked up one-half inch of sleet. Much of central and southern Illinois saw a light glaze of ice.
One to two inches of snow fell across southeastern Missouri, but up to one-half inch of sleet was reported in Poplar Bluff with freezing rain and snow mixed in. Incredibly, Oak Ridge, Missouri, near Cape Girardeau, picked up 4.5 inches of sleet according to the National Weather Service.
In Flint, Michigan residents saw 4.2 inches of snow as cold air kicked in, which Saginaw residents saw 4.8 inches. Michigan's lead snowfall came from near Ironwood with 8.6 inches, which is downwind of Lake Superior's western end, which may have enhanced snowfall totals there.
Near the Ohio/Pennsylvania border east of Cleveland, 0.3 inches of ice aggregated near Kelloggsville. Generally, one to two-tenths of an inch of ice accumulated near Cleveland with 1-2 inches of snow across the city. Akron, Ohio received one-tenth of an inch of ice.
Several inches of snow fell across central Kentucky and middle Tennessee on Friday. As was the case across much of the Ohio Valley, numerous precipitation types compiled on top of one another as air cooled from the west. In the Louisville area, up to a quarter inch of ice was topped by up to a half inch of sleet and several inches of snowfall, making any transportation tough.
Accumulating sleet coated roads in eastern Arkansas, west Tennessee, northern Mississippi, northern Louisiana and western Kentucky Friday. Interstate 40 in parts of western Tennessee were closed Friday afternoon following slick conditions and several accidents.
Freezing rain developed in the Nashville and across middle Tennessee during the late afternoon hours on Jan. 12, but switched over to snow during the evening. Snow amounted to half an inch to two inches across most of the area, but some spots in northern Tennessee saw more. Paris, Tennessee has received 8 inches so far.
Farther west, in east Memphis, snowfall accumulated to nearly an inch and a half.
Much of eastern Arkansas picked up sleet, with up to an inch being reported near DeWitt with snow on top of that. Little Rock picked up a trace of sleet.
Icy roads were reported in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Jackson, Tennessee, among many other locations. Numerous vehicle accidents were reported on Interstate 22 in Union County, Mississippi due to ice.
Union City, Tennessee saw an inch of sleet topped by 4.5 inches of snow on Friday.
Reports of snow had come in from as far south as Alexandria, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi, on the morning of Jan. 12. More than four inches of snow and sleet may have fallen in northern Louisiana according to the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center, but generally, amounts were less than 2 inches.
Other notable precipitation totals:
- 4.5 inches of snow in Union City, Tennessee
- 1.25 inches of sleet: Bolivar, Tennessee
- 1.0 inch of sleet: Blytheville, Arkansas
- 0.50 inches of sleet in Olive Branch, Mississippi
- 0.20 inches of sleet: Greenville, Mississippi
Check back with us at weather.com for updates to this forecast.