After today’s extreme cold, attention will turn to the southeastern US early Monday, President’s Day, as low pressure will organize down there and then ride up in an inland track parallel to the eastern seaboard on Monday night and Tuesday. It appears that this storm will have a lot of moisture available to it and should produce a potpourri of precipitation types in the I-95 corridor ranging from accumulating snow and ice to ordinary rain and some of the rain can be heavy. Despite the expected changeover to plain rain, it looks like a significant buildup of snow and ice will take place on the front end of the storm. Preliminary snowfall estimates for the I-95 corridor are 2-5 inches with higher amounts in that range well to the north and west of the metro regions and lower amounts in the big cities. As far as the cold this morning, Central Park in New York City dropped to -1 degrees which was the coldest there since 1994. Boston plunged to -9 degrees which was the coldest there since 1957. Philly’s low temperature held at 8 above, but most suburbs to the north and west fell to between zero and 5 above this morning.
Snow should break out late tonight or early tomorrow morning in the DC metro region and by mid-day or early afternoon in the Philly and New York City metro regions and the snow should pick up in intensity within a few hours after the onset in all places. By early tomorrow night, milder air will begin to push into the region from off the ocean thanks to the combination of high pressure moving off of the New England coastline and the inland storm track. The snow will transition to a period of sleet and freezing rain and there can be an ice buildup on some untreated surfaces before a changeover to plain rain on Tuesday; especially in the northern and western suburbs of the big cities. As the storm responsible for this mess pulls away to the northeast later Tuesday, it is possible for a change back to snow before the precipitation ends later Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning. Preliminary snowfall estimates for the I-95 corridor from DC-to-Philly-to-New York City are 2-5 inches with higher amounts in that range well to the north and west of the metro regions and lower amounts in the big cities. One other note, if plain rain does indeed come down hard on Tuesday, there is the possibility for some flooding as grounds are quite frozen following the bitter cold this weekend – at least right below surface level – and this would increase runoff and decrease the amount of rain that can soak into the ground. Stay tuned.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian