Here comes the snow! Travel chaos predicted with major storm set to hit the Midwest and Northeast in the next 24 hours and bring a very wintery start to 2014 for 70 million people
- Major snowstorm set to cause havoc across the Midwest and Northeast in the next 24 hours
- More than 70 people will be impacted including entire metropolitan area of New York City and Long Island
- Storm forecast expected to bring 6- to 12-inches of snowfall
- Some areas will see snow on New Year's Day but by Thursday two storms will have merged to produce the major storm
- Conditions expected to create travel chaos for people traveling home from holidays or returning to work after the break
- As colder air invades the storm, snow will stick to the roads and a layer of ice may form on some highways
- Worst of the storm expected on Thursday night and snow will fall at a rate of two inches per hour in some locations
- Cold temps could even reach record lows, bringing temperatures not seen in the Northeast since January 2009
By David Mccormack
PUBLISHED: 12:51 EST, 1 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:55 EST, 1 January 2014
A major snowstorm is set to cause travel havoc across the Midwest and Northeast in the next 24 hours with snow as deep as 12-inches predicted in some areas.
Snowfall is expected in some areas from the Midwest to central New York later today, but by tomorrow two storms will have merged to produce a major snowstorm that will impact 70 million people, reaching from the upper part of the mid-Atlantic to southern New England.
The storm is set to have a major impact on people traveling home from holiday destinations, going back to school or returning to work after the holidays.
A major snowstorm is set to cause havoc across the Midwest and Northeast in the next 24 hours with more than 70 people set to welcome in an extremely cold start to 2014 with as much as 12-inches of snow set to fall in some areas
A man clears snow from around vehicles in his neighborhood in Erie, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, more snow is predicted on Thursday
Travelers are warned to prepare themselves for flight delays and cancellations because of the snow and freezing temperatures.
‘The storms will not organize fast enough to make the perfect storm, but it will cause a significant amount of snow to fall over a large area,’ said AccuWeather.com Chief Operating Officer Evan Myers.
Deicing operations, poor visibility and increasing winds will put some airlines behind schedule, he predicts, and even if the air is clear, aircraft and crews may not be where they are supposed to be.
Then as colder air invades the storm, snow will stick to the roads and a layer of ice may form on some highways.
The storm is set to have a major negative impact on people traveling home from holiday destinations, going back to school or returning to work after the holidays
If as expected the temperature fails to reach 20 degrees in New York's Central Park on Friday, it will be the first time this has occurred since Jan. 16, 2009 (pictured)
The worst of the storm is likely to be on Thursday night in the Northeast but will cause enough snow to make roads slippery as early as Wednesday and Thursday in some locations from the Midwest to New England.
The storm is forecast to bring a large area of 6- to 12-inch snowfall beginning near the Pennsylvania/New York state border to a large part of New Jersey and southern New England, that includes the entire metropolitan area of New York City and Long Island, northward to Albany, N.Y., and Scranton, Pa.
Over a foot of snow will fall in localized areas of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut and the cities of Providence, R.I., and Boston.
A winter storm watch has already been issued for the region. The cold temps could even reach record lows, bringing temperatures not seen in the Northeast since January 2009.
'If New York's Central Park fails to reach 20 degrees for a high temperature on Friday, it will be the first time this has occurred since Jan. 16, 2009,' said AccuWeather's long range weather expert Jack Boston said.
Widespread snow will continue over the Great Lakes and stretch through the Northeast on Thursday, while cloudy skies and showers will cover the Southeast. High pressure moving into the Upper Midwest will push cold temperatures into the region under partly cloudy skies
The worst of the storm is likely to be on Thursday night in the Northeast but will cause enough snow to make roads slippery as early as Wednesday and Thursday in some locations from the Midwest to New England
Within the heaviest snow area, the snow will fall at the rate of two inches per hour in some locations, making it difficult for plows to keep up.
A significant, but lesser snowfall is in store farther southwest in Philadelphia, and farther north in Portland, Maine, Burlington, Vt., and Pittsburgh. Around Baltimore and Washington, D.C., where a small amount of snow is forecast, a quick freeze and slippery travel is possible Thursday evening.
For many areas this will be a dry, powdery snow. However, along the mid-Atlantic coast and even southern New England coast for a brief time, a wintery mix will occur early.
However, as colder air invades the storm, wet areas will freeze and the snow will become powdery.
The storm will strengthen quickly enough to kick up winds. Blowing and drifting snow will occur during the middle and last part of the storm from Pennsylvania to New England.
In parts of New England to perhaps near New York City, a full-blown blizzard may evolve.
Blizzard: A woman battles snow in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania as much of the country is set to welcome in a very wintery 2014
The wind will cause waves to build along the New England and the mid-Atlantic coast. Where these winds are onshore longest, over eastern New England and along the north shore of Long Island, flooding at times of high tide is likely, along with beach erosion.
The new moon on New Year's Day will contribute to higher tide levels during part of the storm.
The coldest air of the season so far will empty out of eastern Canada on gusty winds in the wake of the storm. For some locations it will bring the coldest weather in several years.
Areas from New England to much of the mid-Atlantic will be very cold Friday into Saturday, while travel conditions will improve.
In the South, the colder air will be accompanied by a biting wind as well.
The southern part of the two storms is set to join up in the Northeast and will bring drenching rain to parts of the South and along the lower mid-Atlantic coast for a time Wednesday night into Thursday.
Blanketed: A Toronto street is covered with snow and broken tree limbs
The second of the two storms slated to join forces will spread a swath of accumulating snow eastward from Iowa and Illinois to Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and part of lower Michigan and southern Wisconsin Tuesday into New Year's Day.
Another storm may eye the Northeast with snow, a wintry mix and rain Sunday night and Monday as 2014 kicks winter up to a whole new level of intensity. Very cold air could also make a far-reaching appearance from the Midwest to the Northeast next week.
Elsewhere the warmest temperatures in the country are to be found in Florida, in cities such as Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
'It will be balmy weather in the 70s,' said Bruce Terry, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. 'It will be the warmest part of the country.'
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