Northeastern US braces for foot of snow during first days of December

Updated: Dec 1, 2019

UPDATED 9:45 PM EST:

Northeastern US braces for foot of snow during first days of December

The second part of a double-barreled storm is forecast to unload heavy snow and create difficult travel over a large part of the northeastern United States, including some major cities from Sunday to Monday.

A winter-like storm from the Midwest will move in this weekend, then hand off to a new coastal storm that strengthens by Monday.

Accumulating snow is forecast to occur in Boston; Hartford, Connecticut; New York City and even to some extent around the Trenton, New Jersey, and Philadelphia area from the storm.

The heaviest snow, on the order of 6-12 inches is forecast from the northeastern corner of Pennsylvania to central Massachusetts and southwestern New Hampshire. However, pockets of 12-18 inches are in store for the Catskills and Berkshires, where an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 24 inches is expected.



Heavy snow is in store for much of the Hudson, Mohawk and Connecticut river valleys with a few inches as far south as parts of the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.

Part of the storm will bring ice, rain and a wintry mix along the Interstate-95 corridor from Philadelphia to New York City and Boston, with the ice and mix to occur during Sunday into Sunday night.

Conditions are likely to be a wintry mess around the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where the Packers will take on the Giants during Sunday afternoon. Farther south and west, drenching rain is in the offing for the NFL game between the 49ers and Ravens at Baltimore, and perhaps in Pittsburgh for the Browns and Steelers match up.

A significant buildup of ice is forecast over parts of the central Appalachians to southern New England with dangerous travel conditions and the risk of falling tree limbs and power outages. How damaging the ice storm is will depend on whether the primary form of precipitation is sleet or freezing rain. Sleet tends to bounce off, while freezing rain weighs down trees and power lines.

The middle part of the storm is likely to be the warmest during Sunday night. This is when just enough warm air is likely to sweep in from the south and the Atlantic to bring plain rain to coastal areas of the upper mid-Atlantic and southeastern New England.

However farther inland, a transition from wet snow to more powdery snow is in store in some areas and a wintry mix or ice to snow in others as a storm along the coast strengthens and begins to pull in colder air.

Rain showers will change to snow showers from the Ohio Valley to the central Appalachians during Sunday night and Monday. Locally a coating to an inch or two of snow can accumulate in these areas.

During Monday, cold air is likely to collapse toward the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coast to bring a change to accumulating snow.

While an accumulation of a coating to an inch or so is possible around Philadelphia, up to a few inches may fall on the New York City area with several inches likely around Boston. Much heavier snow is likely in the northern and western suburbs of New York City and Boston, with a few inches possible well north of Philadelphia.

Should the storm strengthen a bit more, heavy snow may fall right in New York City and a few inches might occur in Philadelphia on Monday. Boston could pick up a foot of snow in such a case where rain does not hold back the accumulation.

Some schools that are scheduled to be in session on Monday may have delays or cancellations. Flight delays and cancellations are likely from Boston to New York City and Philadelphia. Ripple-effect days can be felt not only in the Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh areas, but across much of the nation as crews and aircraft are likely to be displaced as the storm also affected some of the major Midwest hubs this weekend.

Those with flexible travel plans are encouraged to postpone Sunday and Monday trips.

Travel conditions are likely to improve dramatically over the region on Tuesday as crews will have been out plowing and/or treating the road with ice-melting compounds. However, snow is likely to start the day in eastern New England.


1:00PM EST: A storm that originated in the West and wrought havoc for Thanksgiving travelers in the days leading up to the holiday will make its presence felt and bring a new round of travel woes to those in the northeastern United States this weekend.

Forecasters are calling it a double-barreled storm that will first spread rain, ice and snow into the northeastern United States during Saturday and Sunday. However, it is the tail end of the storm that may bring a foot of snow to part of the region from Sunday night to Monday.

Rain will expand to the lower mid-Atlantic coast during Saturday afternoon and night, including the Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, areas.

During Sunday, a second storm center is forecast to develop along the mid-Atlantic coast. Eventually, this coastal storm will take center stage.

The rain will reach northward along the Delaware and New Jersey coasts. However, around the New York City area and the southern New England coast, conditions in the atmosphere may be such to allow a mixture of rain and sleet to occur at the onset.

Rain will expand to the lower mid-Atlantic coast during Saturday afternoon and night, including the Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, areas.

During Sunday, a second storm center is forecast to develop along the mid-Atlantic coast. Eventually, this coastal storm will take center stage.

The rain will reach northward along the Delaware and New Jersey coasts. However, around the New York City area and the southern New England coast, conditions in the atmosphere may be such to allow a mixture of rain and sleet to occur at the onset.

Later, on Sunday, atmospheric conditions will allow mainly snow to spread across northern and eastern New York state to western and central New England.

It is during Sunday night to Monday, when the effects of the strengthening coastal storm are likely to be realized.

Difficult and dangerous travel is likely to develop from Sunday to Sunday night along much of the New York Thruway, as well as the Massachusetts Turnpike and portions of I-84, 88, 89, 91, 93 and 95. Conditions along these highways will range from wet to slushy to snow-covered.

As the coastal storm ramps up, a slight drop in temperature and enhanced moisture from the Atlantic will cause a change to snow or a wintry mix to extend farther south in the mid-Atlantic and snowfall rates to increase from the Poconos and Catskills to the Berkshires, Taconics and the Green and White Mountains of New England.

Snowfall from northeastern Pennsylvania to southern Maine is likely to generally range from 3 to 12 inches with the heaviest amounts over ridges. An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 18 inches is forecast and most likely to occur over the Berkshires and Catskills.

However, several inches of snow is forecast to fall over much of the Hudson and Connecticut valleys as well.



Potential for accumulating snow inches closer to NYC, Philadelphia


There is a chance accumulating snow reaches New York City and as far south as Philadelphia for a time on Monday. Meanwhile, Boston will be in the thick of a battle zone between snow, ice and rain from Sunday through Monday.

Snow or a wintry mix accumulation is likely to ramp up quickly north of Philadelphia and north and west of New York City and Boston. A few inches of snow are likely to fall on the northern and western suburbs of New York City and Boston and the northern suburbs of Philadelphia.

At the same time late this weekend and into Monday, the older part of the storm from the Midwest is likely to send accumulating snow showers into West Virginia and the western parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and New York state.

So while travel conditions are likely to be OK in New England and the mid-Atlantic coast into Saturday night, the weather will cause conditions to deteriorate on Sunday into Monday for much of the Northeast.


Visit AccuWeather for more information.

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