By Alex Sosnowski
Expert Senior Meteorologist, AccuWeather.com
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — AccuWeather.com reports a new cross-country storm is already in the works and will sweep from the Northwest to Central states and the East spanning this weekend through the middle of next week.
The storm will impact many major cities and thousands of miles of countryside from coast to coast, and has the potential to disrupt travel, school, business and other activities.
The storm will continue to affect the Northwest into Saturday, Feb. 23, with gusty wind, drenching rain along the coast and locally heavy mountain snow inland.
Gusts up to 50 mph are in store along the coast and over the ridges with up to a couple of feet of snow at pass level in the northern Cascades. The storm will raise the risk of avalanches in the high country.
The storm will continue inland, spreading locally heavy snow over the various ranges of the Rockies this weekend, while rain and snow wind down in the coastal Northwest.
A light to moderate snowfall is in store for Salt Lake City straddling both days of the weekend, with the same in store for Denver Saturday night into Sunday, Feb. 24.
While the storm may not have the significant precipitation impacts in the Southwest as the prior storm did, it will bring a period of strong winds to the deserts and southern California.
Moderate snow will fall on portions of the Plains Sunday into Monday that were hit hard by the recent snowstorm. However, for most concerns over the Plains and Midwest, it will be a warmer storm and snow would occur at more marginal temperatures, when compared to this past week.
Snow is in the forecast for at least part of the storm in Kansas City, Wichita, Kan., and Omaha, Neb., as well as farther east over Des Moines, Iowa and Chicago.
The storm will bring more rain, thunderstorms and the potential for severe weather to the South.
Another period of mixed precipitation appears likely for the Ohio Valley states Monday night, Feb. 25, which is likely to transition to snow over the Appalachians Tuesday into Wednesday, Feb. 26-27. A period of rain is likely along the immediate Atlantic coast.
That same storm could throw a monkey wrench into the weather pattern in the Eastern states later next week. The storm has the potential to play a role developing a big southward dip in the jet stream. The jet stream is a river of high velocity air high in the atmosphere that steers storms, fair weather systems and air masses.
Such a southward dip could make for an extended period of unseasonably cold conditions in the storm’s wake from eastern Canada to Florida and the Gulf Coast into the first part of March.
Posted Feb. 22, 2013