ACCUWEATHER: Enough snow and ice will occur to snarl travel, disrupt daily routines and cause sporadic power outages in a large part of the eastern United States spanning Presidents Day into Tuesday.
The dangerous cold that settled into the eastern United States during Valentine's Day weekend will set the stage for a significant snow and ice storm to unfold from Tennessee and Georgia to Maine.
"A dramatic rise in temperature is in store during the storm, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "Many locations of the Northeast will experience temperatures climbing 40 to 70 degrees higher, when compared to lows from Sunday morning, with the greatest surge of warmth along the Atlantic Seaboard."
Snow began to spread across parts of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys on Sunday.
Snow will spread over the southern Appalachians and the lower part of the mid-Atlantic during Sunday night. During Monday, snow will start to fall on the upper part of the mid-Atlantic and southern and central New England. The snow will finally reach northern New England and neighboring parts of Canada at night.
Before the change to rain, enough snow and/or ice will occur to make roads slippery in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Portland, Maine.
Snow will also create travel hazards in Richmond, Virginia; Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee, before it changes over to ice and rain.
Even a few hours of snow will have no trouble sticking to sidewalks and roads due to the cold from this weekend.
Several inches of snow will make for slow and slippery travel and disruptions from the Appalachians to portions of western and northern New York.
"There will be a 50- to 100-mile-wide swath of 6-12 inches of snow, where ice and rain do not mix in," AccuWeather Meteorologist Edward Vallee said.
This includes in Elkins, West Virginia; DuBois, Pennsylvania; Rochester, New York; and Montreal, Canada.
y far, the most disruptive and dangerous aspect of the storm will be from ice and particularly freezing rain. Enough ice can build up to cause widespread power outages in some communities.
The severity of the ice storm from location to location will depend on whether precipitation falls in the form of sleet or freezing rain. Sleet causes less of an impact on trees and power lines than freezing rain. Sleet can also allow some traction when driving at very low speed.
As mild air battles with the cold air from Valentine's Day weekend, a significant ice storm is expected to unfold from portions of the Carolinas into Maine with the greatest risk along and just east of the Appalachians.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Paul Walker, "Enough cold air will remain wedged in parts of the interior South, mid-Atlantic and Northeast, not only to make roads slippery, but also to cause a buildup of ice on trees and power lines."
"In the South, the area of greatest concern for freezing rain will be along Interstate 85 in South Carolina, between I-85 and I-77 in North Carolina, and between I-95 and I-81 in Virginia and Maryland," Sosnowski said.
"Farther north, the greatest risk for a period of freezing rain will be from eastern and central Pennsylvania and northwestern New Jersey to eastern New York state and part of western New England," Sosnowski stated.
In total, 0.10 to 0.25 of an inch of ice could occur across a large swatch from South Carolina to Maine by Tuesday. Some areas could receive over 0.50 of an inch.
As mild air slowly works its way northward, many areas along the coast will change over to heavy rain with a risk of flooding.
Rain may continue to freeze on colder, untreated surfaces for a time, even as the air temperature rises above freezing.
The storm will depart the Northeast on Tuesday. However, another smaller, less-intense storm will swing in from the Midwest with the potential for light-to-moderate snow in some locations later Tuesday into Wednesday.