Snow late this week could be the first of several disruptive snowstorms to parade through the midwestern and eastern United States in mid-March.
After the dramatic upswing in temperatures for the first half of this week, a flip in the weather pattern will return the threat of snow starting late this week. Some communities could go from experiencing highs in the 50s and lower 60s F at the peak of the warmth the next few days to utilizing snow shovels and revving up snowplows.
“The Northeast has had everything from frigid cold this weekend and warm spells early this week but has largely avoided snow recently,” Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams said. “But late this week, a storm will sneak in from the west, and it could bring snow,” Abrams said.
While it is not likely to strengthen into a major winter storm, the system could still spread a narrow swath of accumulating snow from part of the lower Great Lakes on Thursday to a portion of the mid-Atlantic by early Friday. In the Northeast, odds currently favor the snow streaking in between the Interstate 70 and 80 corridors.
This swath of snow may only be 100 miles in width from north to south. A slight shift in the system’s track could mean the difference between disruptions and slick travel to dry weather holding. "Where the snow falls at night in the central Appalachians and first thing Friday morning along the upper part of the mid-Atlantic coast, there is the potential for a few inches and slippery roads," according to Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Where the snow falls light enough during the day, it could have difficulty sticking to roads due to the stronger March sun. “Along with the late-week threat, there can be additional threats this weekend and next week,” Abrams said. A storm bears watching from early this weekend over part of the Midwest to late this weekend in part of the mid-Atlantic. The weekend storm could be more or less disruptive than the late-week system.
If the storm this weekend is the stronger of the first two storms, more substantial snow could fall on parts of the Midwest and the mid-Atlantic.