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Major Winter Storm Spreading Snow, Damaging Ice From the South Into the Midwest and Northeast

Published in 15 February, 2021

At a Glance

  • A major winter storm is tracking out of the South into the Midwest and Northeast early this week.

  • This storm will produce widespread snow and damaging ice.

  • Travel will be impossible in some areas along the path of this storm.

A major winter storm, named Uri by The Weather Channel, will continue to spread snow and potentially damaging ice from the South into parts of the Midwest and Northeast through Tuesday.

This winter storm is being spurred on by a vigorous jet-stream disturbance and a low-pressure system spreading moisture into record-breaking cold air that is now entrenched across the central U.S.

Current Status

Uri is producing a widespread area of snowfall and some ice this morning from eastern Texas to the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.

The storm produced 6 inches of snowfall in Oklahoma City with drifts of 2 to 4 feet.

In Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport picked 4 inches of snowfall in the storm. Parts of the Austin and San Antonio areas had seen 4 to 5 inches of snow.

Thundersnow was reported early Monday on the Gulf Coast in Galveston, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana.

More than 2 million homes and businesses had lost electricity in Texas as of 6:30 a.m. CST, according to poweroutage.us.

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Current Status

Winter storm warnings, ice storm warnings and winter advisories for Uri stretch from parts of the South into the Midwest and Northeast.

Locations where warnings are in effect will generally have the worst impacts from this storm, including the potential for impossible travel conditions and/or damaging ice.

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Winter Alerts

(Issued by the National Weather Service)

Forecast Timing

Monday

Snow, possibly heavy at times, may fall Monday from eastern Texas into parts of northern Louisiana, Arkansas, the mid-Mississippi and Ohio valleys and southern Great Lakes. Some snowfall or ice will expand as far east as the Northeast.

Freezing rain and sleet will occur just to the east of the area of snow from southern and central Louisiana to the Tennessee Valley and the central Appalachians. The ice will make travel dangerous and could also damage trees and knock out power in some areas.

By Monday night, this mess of snow, freezing rain and sleet will be in the Northeast, while continuing from the Ohio Valley southward into the Tennessee Valley. Significant icing is possible to the north and west of Interstate 95 from south-central and eastern Pennsylvania into northern New Jersey, southeast New York and interior parts of southern New England.

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Monday’s Forecast

(The green shadings depict where rain is expected. Areas that are shaded blue are expected to see snow. Purple-shaded locations may see either rain or snow. Areas in pink are expected to see sleet or freezing rain (ice).)

Tuesday

Uri will finish up in the Northeast on Tuesday.

Snowfall and some ice can be expected from parts of upstate New York into western and northern New England. Rain is expected along the Interstate 95 corridor from Boston to Philadelphia.

Much of the snow and ice from this storm will be over by Tuesday night.

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Tuesday’s Forecast

(The green shadings depict where rain is expected. Areas that are shaded blue are expected to see snow. Purple-shaded locations may see either rain or snow. Areas in pink are expected to see sleet or freezing rain (ice).)

How Much Snow and Ice?

Given the wealth of cold air in place, many locations that are typically on the border of snow vs. rain will be solidly snow with this storm.

At least 5 to 8 inches of snow is expected in parts of the lower Mississippi and Ohio valleys. Some localized heavier totals topping 8 inches are expected.

Farther to the Northeast, most areas from Ohio into western and northern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and northern New England should see 5 or more inches of snowfall. Up to a foot of snowfall is possible in some of these areas, including Cleveland, Syracuse, New York, and Burlington, Vermont.

Below is the forecast for the additional snow Uri is expected to produce from now through Tuesday.

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South, Midwest Snow Forecast

There is also a threat of widespread accumulating ice from parts of the lower Mississippi Valley into northern and western Alabama, middle Tennessee, eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.

The potential for significant icing could extend into the Northeast as well, especially in areas just north and west of Interstate 95, from south-central and eastern Pennsylvania to northern New Jersey, southeast New York and interior southern New England.

All of these locations could have enough ice to slicken untreated roads and make travel dangerous.

Ice could be heavy enough to damage trees and knock out power as well, especially in areas shaded darker purple on the map below.

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Another winter storm, named Viola by The Weather Channel, will quickly follow on the heels of Uri this week. It could spread more snow and ice through some of the same areas impacted by Uri.

For more details on Winter Storm Viola, click here.

Storm Recap

Uri impacted the Pacific Northwest with heavy snow and damaging ice late Friday into Saturday. Seattle had a two-day snowfall total of 11.1 inches from the storm.

Heavy snow and wind gusts over 60 mph were reported in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Sunday morning.

 

Check back to weather.com for updates and potential changes as key details become clearer in the coming days.

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