Accumulating snow will fall on approximately 200,000 square miles of the interior Northeast with amounts topping a foot for some, and other hazards like ice and windswept rain will lead to significant travel disruptions.
AccuWeather Global Weather Center – December 14, 2022 – The weather system that has unleashed an all-out blizzard in parts of the north-central United States and deadly tornadoes in the South is far from finished.
Next up, it will take aim at the Northeastern states, where it will unleash the most widespread snowfall across the region yet this season late this week.
A dangerous ice storm will unfold in some areas as rain, wind and coastal hazards pelt the Eastern Seaboard.
The heaviest snow and ice will occur just north and west of the Interstate 95 major cities spanning Wednesday night to Saturday, AccuWeather meteorologists say.
Accumulating snow will fall on approximately 200,000 square miles of the interior Northeast from a large portion of Pennsylvania to nearly all of Maine, causing significant disruptions as holiday travelers hit the road for Hanukkah celebrations, which begin on Sunday.
Even in the rain zone along the East Coast, travel delays are likely due to wet roads, slick runways and poor visibility.
The first part of the storm will begin as ice from the central Appalachians to part of the mid-Atlantic region from Wednesday night to Thursday.
AccuWeather forecasters have highlighted an area north and west of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, along stretches of I-68 and I-70, where an accumulation of freezing rain and/or sleet is expected from Wednesday night to Thursday.
This zone includes about 250 miles of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in southern Pennsylvania from near Valley Forge through Harrisburg to Bedford and the suburbs east of Pittsburgh, as well as a nearly 400-mile stretch of I-81 from southwestern Virginia to southern Pennsylvania.
For a brief time, at the onset of the storm, a bit of freezing rain and sleet can occur in the cities of Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia late Wednesday night to morning rush hour on Thursday.
Farther to the north in Pennsylvania, cold air is forecast to fight back soon after the storm gets under way. In this case, some locations will likely experience a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain that will transition to all snow.
Where this changeover to snow occurs quickly, or where precipitation remains snow at the start, several inches to a foot or more of snow can pile up.
Top amounts are most likely to accumulate from north-central and northeastern Pennsylvania to central Maine.
Within this zone, pockets of heavier snowfall are likely due to the duration and intensity of the storm with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 24 inches possible.
The snowstorm should treat ski resorts quite well from the Poconos to the Catskills and the Green and White mountains of the Northeast with plenty of natural powder and a solid base as the holiday season ramps up.
In areas well north of Philadelphia, just north and west of New York City and west of Boston, there will be a transition from rain to a wintry mix to all or mostly snow, which is often the case with a storm that tracks just off the Atlantic coast.
Travel in these directions from the major cities will become progressively worse during the storm. The wintry mix zone may be close to I-78 in Pennsylvania, I-278 north and west of New York City and I-95 just north and west of Boston.
From Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, rain will be the primary form of precipitation from the storm. Only if the storm shifts its position farther to the east, while moving northward, might there be a period of heavy snow in New York City and Boston.