It’s a one, two, three heap for parts of the country after an extended break from winter weather that caused many cities to report a snow deficit, much to the delight of many.
After a weekend of mostly light to occasionally moderate accumulation in the northern plains, the FOX Forecast Center is tracking the potential for a major storm system spreading snow from Texas across Maine, and the possibility of heavy and heavy rain weather on the southern end of the system.
Forecast models show moisture will begin to accumulate over the Rocky Mountains and southern plains on Monday, but for many in Texas and Oklahoma, Tuesday appears to be the day when the impact will be felt the most.
“A major sink in the jet stream is causing this cold Canadian air to descend and invade areas of New Mexico, Texas. The reason this is so important is that instead of a coastal low, there is an inland low that is really strengthening. And so it’s going to bring widespread snow,” said Steve Bender, meteorologist for FOX Weather.
Depending on where the freeze line goes, there may be heavy snowfall in some places where temperatures are cold enough.
Amarillo, Texas, and Oklahoma City are two of the communities that forecast models show there is enough cold air to create frozen precipitation and accumulate snow.
As the storm system progresses northeast, snow will dominate over parts of the middle Mississippi Valley and upper Ohio Valley through Wednesday.
Most accumulation is expected to remain light, but the FOX Forecast Center warns there will be a region that could stretch from Missouri to Illinois to Indiana and Michigan where snow will be more modest and possibly the journey could affect.
Because of the system’s trajectory, large portions of the Southeast, Tennessee Valley, and I-95 corridor will remain snow-free, but will receive precipitation in liquid form due to abundant moisture.
Later Wednesday and Thursday, the heart of the system is expected to be over the Northeast, where inland regions could again see several inches of snow and major cities will see mostly rain as temperatures remain too warm to accumulate snowfall.
Due to the timing of the event, exact snowfall amounts have yet to be ironed out, but locations from the Catskills to the White Mountains of New England seem to stock the heaviest snow, which likely needs to be measured in feet, not inches.
Not everyone will see snow: Severe storms possible along the Gulf Coast
The meeting of air masses with cold encroaching further south than in recent weeks will help set the stage for what the FOX Forecast Center believes could be a severe weather outbreak moving along of the Interstate 10 corridor.
Forecast models show the first chance of severe weather will be Tuesday, with hail, damaging winds and tornadoes possible.
The potential threat zone stretches from Louisiana to southern Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.
Due to an active pattern, several of these communities have already faced severe storm threats, even though it’s only been three weeks into the year.
“This weather pattern of severe weather has continued. And next week we will be tracking similar conditions again, not only with the severe weather threatening the salvage and cleanup efforts, but also with rain,” said Brigit Mahoney, Fox Weather meteorologist.
Any additional tornadoes forming in January would add to a busy period that is already on track to break records for the month.
The Storm Prediction Center said it received 138 initial reports of tornadoes in the first 20 days of 2023.
An additional wave of moisture Wednesday may result in further storm development for areas farther east than Tuesday’s threat zone and could include the Carolinas, Georgia and the Florida Peninsula.
In the coming days, the FOX Forecast Center will narrow the potential impact on the east coast and be better able to provide detailed snow and severe weather forecasts.