Will Weekend Snowstorm Lead to a White Christmas?

State College, Pa. — 7 December 2010 — AccuWeather.com reports a storm destined to dump heavy snow over portions of the Plains, Midwest and Northeast this weekend could solidify a white Christmas for these areas and others.

Heavy Snow

Weekend Monster Storm

When push comes to shove, a wintry mix followed by rain seems to be the most likely option at this point for the I-95 Northeast and the I-64 corridor in the Midwest.

Even so, the track is still questionable, and people are advised to keep checking in at AccuWeather.com in the coming days.

For now, AccuWeather.com meteorologists are not buying the idea of a storm cutting up to the western Great Lakes, bringing overwhelming warmth to the interior Northeast or a blizzard for the Upper Midwest.

The “warm up and rain I-95 forecast” is based on a double-storm scenario with one center rolling eastward across the central Plains to the Ohio Valley Saturday, where it weakens, followed by a second storm forming along the East Coast and moving northward Sunday.

In short, the scenario allows warmer air to invade much of the immediate Ohio Valley and northern Atlantic Seaboard at the critical time to avoid heavy snow accumulation. Cities in the warm-up and rain scenario include: Louisville, Nashville, Richmond, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Portland, Maine.

White Christmas

Even with this warm scenario, a zone of moderate to heavy snow will stretch eastward from the central Plains to the lower Great Lakes and the interior Northeast.

Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Ottawa, Toronto and possibly Pittsburgh and St. Louis would get enough snow to survive up until Christmas from this single storm.

Burlington, Montreal, Albany and Scranton are on the bubble with this storm, meaning a wintry mix or perhaps a change to rain at the height.

Travelers can entertain their worst fears, while skiing interests conjure up their wildest dreams.

If you are in the sweet spot of the storm, just west of the wintry mix area, from 1 to 2 feet could pile up with strong wind.

Away from the infamous rain/snow line, an all-out blizzard could pound part of the central Appalachians, eastern Great Lakes and neighboring southern Ontario and western Quebec.

We wish to remind you at this point that these are merely lines in cyberspace and the forecast could change, if the storm track changes.

White Christmas Update
Despite the warmer look for the I-95 East and southern Appalachians and the potential for areas well inland to be buried in snow, this is not the end of the line for potential snowstorms through Christmastime.

The overall pattern remains stacked with storms. In addition, the blast of cold air that follows the weekend spotlight storm could be even more harsh than the Arctic blast now in progress with a whole new round of intense lake-effect snow.

Potent storms will arrive on a regular basis form the Pacific and could spread snow over more of the Northwest, Midwest, South and East than now present and in the wake of our monster storm this weekend.

According to AccuWeather.com Long Range Expert Joe Bastardi, “Next week, the overall storm track appears to be ready to take a shift farther to the south over the eastern U.S., potentially allowing snow to be favored over rain, even in rather southern latitudes.”

Correspondingly, in the West, episodes of cold, snowy conditions will attempt to return to the Northwest, while warmth attempts to wipe out snow and reduce the chance of a white Christmas over the Great Basin.

Spokane seems to be in good shape for a white Christmas, while Seattle and Denver have a chance if a western Canada cold press arrives a few days earlier.

Salt Lake City may be out of the running, due to surging warmth from the Southwest.

If you are hoping for a white Christmas, don’t fret over one storm bringing rain instead of snow, there will be plenty of other opportunities in the next two weeks in the East, Northwest, Midwest, the mountains of the West and even in the South.

“The overall pattern is almost as good as it gets in December for snowstorm potential over a large part of heavily populated areas in the U.S.,” Bastardi stated.

By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Expert Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

Updated 12-07-2010

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  1. — joe mckee    Dec 9, 02:18 AM    #
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