by Alex Sosnowski
AccuWeather.com reports two storms will converge on the Northeast on Thursday with the potential for snow. How quickly they get together and strengthen will determine which areas are hit with heavy snow and which areas will have a near-miss.
The storm could have a major negative impact on travel for people returning from holiday destinations, heading back to school or resuming business activities.
People should be prepared for flight delays because of direct and indirect impacts from the far-reaching storm. Flights destined to New York City, Philadelphia and other airports may be held up due to deicing activities in the Midwest and in New England.
While millions of people in New England are likely to be hit by a snowstorm, the question is will an additional 10 million people have to shovel out in the storm's wake Friday, including New York City and Philadelphia?
The snowier of two scenarios would suggest that New England will be hit with a powerful nor'easter that produces blizzard conditions, damaging winds and coastal flooding.
Even if the two Thursday storms are slow to converge, they should still wrap enough moisture around to produce a snowstorm over New England.
According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, "Enough snow to shovel and plow seems likely for much of New England during Thursday into Friday."
In part of central and northern New England, the storms from this past Sunday night and the storm expected Thursday will overlap, with the potential for more than a foot of snow to be on the ground by late Friday.
It is too early to call for the mid-Atlantic.
If the two storms merge and strengthen too far off the mid-Atlantic coast, only intermittent snow, flurries or perhaps even nothing may fall on the I-95 corridor from Philadelphia.
Even in areas as far south as Washington, D.C., and Richmond, the chance of snow is not zero if the storm strengthens quickly. Some snow could wrap around for a brief time.
In either case, the coldest air of the season so far will empty out of Canada in the wake of the storm.
According to Long Range Weather Expert Jack Boston, "If New York's Central Park fails to reach 20 degrees for a high temperature on Friday, it will be the first time this has occurred since Jan. 16, 2009."
In addition to the snowstorm in New England and the chance of accumulating snow in part of the I-95 mid-Atlantic, a swath of light to moderate snow will sweep from the Midwest to the central Appalachians during the middle of the week.
When combined with frigid temperatures, the snow will stick to the roads leading to slippery conditions and travel delays from Chicago to Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
For more information, tune in to "AccuWeather Live Mornings" every weekday at 7 a.m.