ACCUWEATHER - Just as portions of the Midwest will deal with rounds of snow and rain into the weekend, so will areas in the East. Depending on the time of day they hit, there could be slippery travel.
Flurries and snow squalls rolled through part of the Appalachians during Wednesday. The heaviest of these brought ten minutes of very low visibility and a quick coating of snow.
As many as three fast-moving storm systems will swing through the region Friday through the end of the weekend. The storms will bring a taste of spring to some areas, but also a remainder that winter is not quite done yet in others.
These storms will each spread swaths of snow on different tracks, which will make for some rather challenging forecasts.
Areas near and just north of the storm track will have snow or a wintry mix with surprisingly low daytime temperatures for the middle of March. Areas to the south of the storm track will have rain or spotty showers. However, where the sun breaks out just south of the storm, temperatures can surge to amazingly warm levels (60s or higher). A matter of 100 miles south to north could mean a temperature difference of more than 40 degrees.
While these are not likely to bring much, if any, accumulation of snow to the coastal areas, this time of year it is a matter of timing of snow when it comes to accumulating on roads and sidewalks, whether at the coast, in the mountains or the interior valleys. The strengthening sun, even when not visible, plays a major role.
Snows during the night time or first thing in the morning will be the most troublesome. Your local AccuWeather.com forecast will have the details on the timing and nature of each of the precipitation events.
The first round will be the weakest of all and may be a non-event by the time it crosses the Appalachians. However, a few places in West Virginia, western Virginia, eastern Tennessee and northwestern North Carolina late Thursday night into Friday morning have the best chance of a small, slushy accumulation of snow or a rain/snow mix.
The second round will be farther north and will have more substantial precipitation than the first.
This system would affect the eastern Great Lakes and central Appalachians region Friday night and then New England and part of the mid-Atlantic coast Saturday. Snow accumulation is possible north of I-80, with the exception around New York City will it will be too warm for accumulating snow.
The third round is likely to track farther than the second round, but could be rather heavy with a narrow band of accumulating snow.
A shift in track with this would mean the difference between, say, I-80 accumulating snow, verses heavy snow over the New York Thruway or areas of rain and snow along I-68/I-70 farther south.
Beyond the three mini storms lining up on the street corners for St. Patrick's Day Weekend, a larger storm could take aim at the region during the middle of next week. While the same March rules apply to that storm in terms of time of day snow and snow versus rain, there are concerns for rising seas along part of the coast and a chance of rising rivers on a sub-regional basis.