Updated: Snow, Sleet Disruptions Expected in Weekend Storm

STATE COLLEGE PA – AccuWeather Inc. forecasters in State College are putting a large segment of the eastern United States, including residents of southeastern Pennsylvania, on notice for another major winter storm expected to hit in the days ahead.

As it makes the trek north the storm will trigger heavy snow, ice and rain throughout the mid-Atlantic states, central Appalachians and New England, they said Friday (Jan. 14, 2022) in an updated report.

The National Weather Service at Mount Holly NJ agrees. In a hazardous weather outlook issued Friday at 5:05 a.m. specifically for western Montgomery County, it warned “snow and/or sleet accumulation may result in significant travel disruptions on Sunday.”

Even though the major winter storm is still a few days away from swinging into the Northeast, confidence is growing among AccuWeather meteorologists as to where the air will be cold enough to support an all-snow event, versus one that features a wintry mix and all or mostly rain. As of Thursday, a track just inland or right along the Atlantic coast in the Northeast seems most likely.

Depending on Track, Snow Expected in Weekend Storm

AccuWeather maps indicate that snow accumulation within The Posts’ circulation areas could range between 1 and 6 inches (above) depending on location, and that weekend precipitation (at top) may include a mix of snow, ice, and rain.

In areas near, south, and east of Interstate 95, rain is likely to be the primary form of precipitation,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bill Deger said. Snow, ice and rain may fall in between, he added.

The wintry weather will be the result of a disruptive storm that will bury the nation’s heartland under heavy snow, then unleash substantial snow and ice across parts of the Southeast, before finally taking an unusual route to the north from Sunday into Monday. The path the storm is predicted to take is extremely rare, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.

“A separate storm over the North Atlantic at the end of this week will create a wedge of cold air in the Northeast, and at the same time will prevent the next major storm from escaping out to sea during Sunday and Monday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Joe Lundberg explained.

The storm is likely to strengthen rapidly as it moves along. It could intensify quickly enough to become what meteorologists refer to as a bomb cyclone, with plunging barometric pressure that enables it to grab copious amounts of moisture due to strengthening winds. In turn, it can unload heavy precipitation.

AccuWeather forecasters noted that a shift in the storm’s track by as little as 50 miles will affect the outcome.

“Should the storm manage to drift 50 miles or so off the coast while heading northward, I-95 cities from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston could be buried in snow with little or no rain and ice mixing in,” according to Deger. In that case, a true nor’easter would unfold, and even blizzard conditions might develop along the I-95 corridor.

Map graphics provided by AccuWeather