A major storm is poised to unload a foot of snow across the Northeast's interior, while a combination of rain, snow and a wintry mix lead to travel delays from the southern Appalachians to the southern New England coast from Sunday to Monday.
The wintry storm will affect approximately 95 million people in the northeastern part of the United States. Expect substantial travel delays, including some flight cancellations. Some schools that were scheduled to be open on Monday may have delays or closures.
Snow and a wintry mix will overspread the central Appalachians during Sunday morning and early afternoon.
By Sunday evening the snow, wintry mix and rain will have reached the mid-Atlantic coast, while snow is forecast to overspread the Hudson Valley of New York.
A swath of 6-12 inches of snow with locally higher amounts is forecast to extend from the northern Ohio Valley to western and northern Pennsylvania, the middle of New York state and northwestern New England with this fast-moving storm.
An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 16 inches is expected and most likely to occur over the mountains. However, the fast, forward speed of the storm should cap the snowfall to near a foot in most areas in the heavy snow swath.
Like part of the Midwest, the snow may pile up fast enough to strand motorists along the major highway. The snow may fall at the rate of 1-2 inches per hour.
The combination of the storm track and strength and proximity of mild air is expected to cause rain or a mix of rain, sleet and snow to fall during the height of the storm along the Intestate 95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.
The storm may begin and end as all snow in this I-95 zone and perhaps switch back and forth at the height of the storm. As a result periods of slippery travel are expected.
Farther northwest, perhaps as little as 25 miles, most of or all of the storm may fall as snow with perhaps 6 inches or more.
All or mostly rain is likely from southern New Jersey to central North Carolina. However, following rain during the first part of the storm, a change to snow and a freeze-up are likely over the southern Appalachians as the storm begins to move away during Sunday night.
Meanwhile, in part of the Deep South, thunderstorms may become severe for a time on Sunday.
There is a chance the storm remains a bit weaker tracks a bit farther to the south and east. If this happens by as little as 25-50 miles, the band of heavy snow would shift southeastward by about the same distance and bring the 6- to 12-inch snowfall to the I-95 corridor.
Snow would fall over central Virginia, southeastern Maryland, southern Delaware and southern New Jersey in this scenario. Less snow would then fall over the current 6- to 12-inch swath from western Pennsylvania to Maine.
As a lobe of the polar vortex wobbles toward the Great Lakes region in the wake of the storm, a formidable dose of Arctic air will blast in from the Midwest early next week.
Areas of slush and standing water will freeze solid. The effectiveness of ice-melting compounds will be greatly reduced during the nighttime and early-morning hours in the wake of the storm. All efforts to remove the snow as fast as possible in the storm's wake for property owners and city, township and state crews.
While winds will not be nearly a strong as that of the start of this week, the air will be colder.
Temperatures are forecast to dip to 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit below average and are likely be be even colder than that of average for January in many cases.
High temperatures are forecast to be near 20 in Pittsburgh and in the upper 20s to lower 30s in New York City. Even Washington, D.C., may struggle to reach the freezing mark, 32 F, despite sunshine at midweek.
The combination of blustery conditions and Arctic air will make for painful to dangerous AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures during much of the first full week of March.
Those heading south for spring break during the upcoming week should feel fortunate, and should be worth the while of weathering the departure delays from the storm this weekend.
However, some chill will settle through the Deep South and mark an end to well-above-average warmth from the past month over the Florida Peninsula.
By the second week of March, temperatures more typical of this time of the year are in store as a west-to-east flow of air will set up across the U.S., which will keep the coldest air locked up over Canada most days.
That does not necessarily mean the end of opportunities for snow, as the upper levels of the atmosphere are typically cold enough for the white stuff, even though temperatures near the ground may be above freezing.
Winter storms and weather across the United States 2019
Winter storms and weather across the United States 2019
James Spanos pushes a cart of his belongings on a snow-covered street during a winter storm, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Portland, Maine. Scarves, hoods and gloves were necessary for New England residents venturing outdoors as the region endures a storm that can dump up to 18 inches of snow. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Horses stand over a major winter storm which dropped around 8 inches of snow in Taos, New Mexico, U.S., January 11, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Hay
Caleb Seely rides a unicycle on a snow covered sidewalk as he heads home after helping shovel out his brother's driveway during a winter storm, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Portland, Maine. The extra knobby tire on Seely's ride provided traction on a day when snow, sleet and freezing rain kept most motorists indoors. Parts of New England residents are bracing for up to 18 inches of snow. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Traffic moved through the town center after a major winter storm dropped around 8 inches of snow in Taos, New Mexico, U.S., January 11, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Hay
Don Locke, of Pottsville, Pa., clears snow and ice from his car along 12th Street in Pottsville, Pa., on Sunday, January 20, 2019. (Andy Matsko/The Republican-Herald via AP)
A couple takes photos at the frozen fountain in Bryant Park January 11, 2019 in New York. New York City was hit with bitter temperatures and high winds. - The low for Friday was 22 Farenheit (-5.5 Celsius) (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Motorists try to fix their windshield wipers during a winter storm, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Portland, Maine. Snow, sleet and freezing rain is making travel hazardous throughout much of New England. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
People take photos of the frozen fountain in Bryant Park on January 11, 2019 in New York. New York City was hit with bitter temperatures and high winds. - The low for Friday was 22 Farenheit (-5.5 Celsius) (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Crews clear snow at the Albany International Airport in Colonie, N.Y., Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019. A major winter storm that blanketed much of the Midwest with snow earlier in the weekend is barreling toward New England, where it is expected to wreak transportation havoc from slick and clogged roads to hundreds of canceled airline flights. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Birds play in the frozen fountain in Bryant Park January 11, 2019 in New York. New York City was hit with bitter temperatures and high winds. The low for Friday was 22 Farenheit (-5.5 Celsius) (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Lakewood CO - JANUARY 11: Meredith Mills pushes shopping carts back into King Soppers on January 11, 2019 in Lakewood, Colorado. Snow continues to fall in the metro area. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
SILVER SPRING, MD - JAN 9: Emmi Horne, 8, tries to catch snowflakes on her toungue as she walks through downtown Silver Spring, Maryland during a brief snow squall with her mom, Terry Horne, right. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 8: A pedestrian passes through a light dusting of snow on a Columbia Road sidewalk in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston on Jan. 8, 2019. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Waves from the East River are seen in front of the Brooklyn Bridge and the skyline of Manhattan in New York on January 7, 2019. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Keith Morris, of the City of Owensboro's Street Department, takes off a hose after loading 1,000 gallons of salt brine into a tank on a truck, Friday afternoon, Jan. 11, 2019, so it can be spread on city roads in Owensboro, Ky. The National Weather Service had issued a winter weather advisory on Friday of accumulating snow moving into the area Friday evening into early Saturday. (Alan Warren/The Messenger-Inquirer via AP)
Traffic moves along I-70 near Lawrence, Kan., Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 ahead of an expected snow storm. The area is under a Winter Weather Advisory. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A plow treats Douglas County Road 438 near Lawrence, Kan., Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 ahead of an expected snow storm. The area is under a Winter Weather Advisory. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A pedestrian walks across the street in downtown Scranton, Pa., on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019. A major winter storm brought some of the coldest temperatures of the season and covered a large swath of the country in snow as it wreaked havoc on air travel and caused slick road conditions throughout New England Sunday. (Butch Comegys/The Times-Tribune via AP)
Marvin Hooks wears a face mask to protect him from the cold as he walks on North Street in Pittsfield, Mass., Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. Bitter cold and gusty winds swept across the eastern U.S. Monday with falling temperatures replacing the weekend's falling snow. (Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle via AP)
A runner moves through West Park on the Northside of Pittsburgh on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019. A major winter storm brought some of the coldest temperatures of the season and covered a large swath of the country in snow as it wreaked havoc on air travel and caused slick road conditions throughout New England Sunday. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Dan Cappella, of Pottsville, Pa., clears snow away on Howard Avenue in Pottsville, Pa., on Sunday, January 20, 2019. (Andy Matsko/The Republican-Herald via AP)
Ben Jennings snowblows his driveway on Sunday, Jan. 20, in Glenville, N.Y., where 16 inches of snow fell from Saturday evening through noon Sunday. (AP Photo/Mary Esch)