Snow from Delmarva to South Jersey and Cape Cod
January 17, 2013; 9:12 PM
The caboose in a train of storms is forecast to swing northward at the last minute, spreading a swath of snow to some coastal areas in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern New England before the end of the week.
The strongest of three storms in the train will swing up from the South just enough to spread heavy snow from the southern Appalachians to central North Carolina and a large part of Virginia later Thursday into Thursday evening.
For much of this region, this will be the first significant accumulation of snow of the season.
A rather sharp northwestern edge of the accumulating snow is likely in the mid-Atlantic and New England.
Minor fluctuations in that northwestern edge may determine whether or not certain areas along I-95 receive enough snow to cause travel problems.
It will be a delicate balance between fresh, cold, dry air arriving and moisture being thrown northward from the storm and high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean.
During Thursday night, the snow line will setup just southeast of Washington, D.C./Baltimore to the Shenandoah Valley early tonight before tapering off later tonight.
Surfaces made wet by the snow can become icy late at night as the sky clears and temperatures dip.
The swath from Roanoke to Charlottesville, Va.. is forecast to be in the heart of the heavy snowfall as well as the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.
With such a dynamic storm system, there is a possibility of thunder with the snow.
The storm is expected to track far enough away from New England to prevent any accumulation in Boston, Mass. and Providence, R.I.. However, some snow call fall on Cape Cod and the Islands.
As AccuWeather.com meteorologists see it now, the accumulating snow is likely to stay south and east of Philadelphia, the five boroughs of New York City and south of Boston. This storm will south and east of much of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. However, a push of arctic air is producing locally heavy snow showers in northern parts of these areas and in upstate New York.
Since the storm is occurring mostly during the nighttime hours Thursday, the snow will fall at a time when road surface temperatures are cooling.
As a result, snow and slush can accumulate on many road surfaces in the heavy snow area, even despite the warmth of recent days.
Expect slippery spots in areas where anything greater than in inch of snow is forecast and snow covered roads in most areas where several inches or more of snow is projected.