Ice, Flooding to Target Midwest, Northeast This Week

Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

AccuWeather reports yet another winter storm will take aim at the Northeast and Midwest this week with some snow, but also significant problems due to flooding and ice.

The new storm will take a more northern track, when compared to the storm this past weekend.

The swath of snow will stretch from Wyoming to northern Michigan Monday night through Tuesday and from central Ontario to northern upstate New York, southern Quebec and northern Maine Tuesday into early Wednesday.

The door will open for warmer air to pour in south of the snowstorm, causing any snow at the storm's onset to change over to an icy mix, then rain across the rest of the Midwest and Northeast.

This ice to rain event will race in a west-to-east fashion from the Midwest to the Northeast Monday night through Tuesday night.

Enough ice to cause slippery travel for a time is expected in St. Louis; Chicago; Indianapolis; Cincinnati, Ohio; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; New York City and Albany, New York; and Boston.

Where the cold is slower to leave in the interior Northeast, the prolonged icing could lead to downed trees and power outages.

Road conditions will improve when rain replaces the ice, but motorists should continue to use caution after temperatures initially climb above freezing. Due to the recent cold, roadway temperatures may lag behind and remain slick for an extra hour or two.

The rain will bring its own issues for residents and travelers.

Downpours and reduced visibility may lead to continued slow travel for motorists and additional flight delays.

The rain will be heavy enough and/or will combine with melting snow to trigger flooding in the lower Midwest states (including the Ohio Valley), the spine of the Appalachians, upper mid-Atlantic and southern New England.

According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "Motorists, pedestrians and property owners from the Ohio Valley to southern New England should be prepared for minor flooding as rising temperatures cause snow and ice to change to rain and existing snow cover to turn to slush and water."

On area of heightened concern is the Ohio Valley, where the terrain combined with significant snow cover, heavy rain and most rapid warmup is likely.

Low-lying areas and places where piles of snow are covering storm drains will be most susceptible to flooding.

Ice jams may also form on area rivers, perhaps leading to flooding and damage on riverbank property.

"At first, the rain will add weight to the snow on roofs in southern New England [including the Boston area]," stated AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

"But as temperatures rise into the 40s, melting will occur and that will lead to some street flooding."

The milder and more springlike weather headed to the Midwest and Northeast will not stay the entire week.

Fresh arctic air will quickly return Wednesday through Thursday.

While slowing down the snow melt and easing the flood threat, the arctic blast will arrive fast enough for any slushy areas to freeze and wet areas to turn icy.

The arrival of the colder air will also coincide with when a new batch of rain will spread from the southern Plains to the East Coast. As the cold air slams into the rain, a changeover to treacherous ice or snow will occur in a large swath from Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley to the mid-Atlantic and potentially a part of the Northeast.

"The arctic air coming in later this week will be brief and not as extreme as that of the last couple of weeks of February from the Appalachians to the Atlantic Seaboard," Sosnowski said.