The weekend will start out fairly quiet Saturday morning across the majority of the country as the Northeastern storm departs. However, things will quickly become active as the next storm system can already be seen developing across the middle part of the country where snows are falling across the northern Plains and western parts of the Great Lakes region. Additionally, light rain and mist is occurring across the Tennessee Valley along and just north of a warm front draped across the region. Very warm temperatures are expected again south of this warm front across the Deep South.
Additionally, a major and potentially destructive winter storm is starting to make its effects felt across the Pacific Northwest this morning where light snow was falling across the Portland, OR metro area. Temperatures are also bitterly cold across western Washington where lows dipped into the middle teens as far south as the Seattle metro area, with single digits farther north just east of Everett and Bellingham. The region will become very active this afternoon as the strong Pacific storm system slowly moves eastward. Overrunning precipitation ahead of the system will be in the form of snow, and very heavy snow in some locales such as the Hood Canal, the northwest Washington coast and eastern slopes of the Cascades where very high easterly up-sloping winds increase snowfall. Blizzard warnings are currently in effect for most of these areas. The Seattle metro area can expect anywhere from 3-8″ of new snowfall with the storm. Due to the extremely high pressure differences between the arctic high pressure across southern Alberta and the deep Pacific storm system, very strong winds in excess of 70mph are likely through the Casacade passes east of Seattle, especially Snoqualmie pass. Farther south into parts of northwest Oregon, snow will likely change to sleet and/or freezing rain later Saturday evening and night as warmer southwest winds scour out some of the arctic air currently entrenched across the region. With the potential of very heavy snow, significant ice accumulation and extremely high winds, the storm has the potential to cause widespread damage and power outages across part of the region, especially western Washington and the Cascades. Winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings are currently in effect through Sunday morning.
Just as the Pacific Northwest weather calms down a little by late morning Sunday, the next storm will be rapidly intensifying across the Great Lakes and Northeastern regions, where heavy snows are also possible in many of the same areas that were pummeled by Friday’s storm. The major cities, especially New York City and Boston, will receive several inches of additional snowfall, with lesser amounts farther south as the snow eventually changes over to rain especially near Philadelphia and along the New Jersey coast. Windy conditions will also accompany the storm system, especially behind the front where gusts above 40mph are likely.