April 17 (UPI) — Forecasters say winter’s recent return to the Northeast may not have been its final visit of the spring, despite a comeback of milder air this weekend.
A storm that dumped record snowfall across part of the Rockies and central Plains Wednesday into Thursday will track eastward at a swift pace into Saturday morning. A narrow swath of accumulating snowfall will move along with the storm on its northern fringes.
“We expect several inches of snow to fall mainly on non-paved surfaces from the northern tier of Pennsylvania to the southern tier of New York state,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Brian Wimer said.
“Pockets of moderate to heavy accumulating snow can also extend over the Catskills in eastern New York state as well as the Berkshires in southwestern New England and perhaps the southern parts of the mountains in Vermont and New Hampshire,” Wimer added.
A general 1-inch to 3-inch snowfall is forecast through southern New York state and northern Pennsylvania to southern Vermont and New Hampshire, Massachusetts and northern Connecticut, with 3 inches to 6 inches in the higher ground. The AccuWeather Local StormMax of a foot is most likely to be achieved over the ridgetops.
“Much less accumulation to a little slush is likely to accumulate on roads, except over the ridges. However, even wet roads could turn icy as the storm pulls away and cold air causes air and road surface temperatures to dip below freezing,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
The added weight of the heavy snow on budding trees could be enough to snap branches and cause isolated power outages.
A couple of inches of snow could also accumulate in the Boston metro area, mainly on non-paved surfaces, Friday night into Saturday morning. In Portland, Maine, the greatest risk of accumulating snowfall will be just south of the city.
New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., can anticipate all rain from the storm late Friday into Saturday morning.
Snow is likely to mix in with the rain in the northern and western suburbs of New York City and may end as a period of steady wet snow in some places well north and west.
Saturday will be chilly in the region in the immediate wake of the storm, especially where there is snow on the ground that must first melt.
“In the wake of the late-week storm, a brief pocket of milder air that originated from the Pacific Ocean will settle in for the weekend,” Sosnowski said.
Sunday is shaping up to be the warmest day of the weekend with high temperatures expected to be at seasonable levels in the 50s and 60s F throughout the region.
Residents may finally be able to give heaters a break and even open up the windows to let in fresh air during Sunday afternoon.
“The mild air and sunshine will cause much of and perhaps all of the snow to melt during the daytime hours,” Sosnowski said.
Showers expected to arrive in the eastern Great Lakes Sunday afternoon will mark the arrival of slightly cooler air pressing southward. On Monday, high temperatures will be shaved a few degrees from Sunday’s levels.
“A reinforcing burst of Arctic air, courtesy of the polar vortex, will follow for early next week,” Sosnowski said.
This Arctic invasion is likely to be accompanied by gusty winds, rain and snow showers and perhaps heavier squalls Tuesday into Wednesday of next week.
AccuWeather long-range meteorologists expect this cold surge to be fleeting as the polar vortex is forecast to retreat northward late next week, allowing milder air to surge back into the Northeast.