Heavy, blowing and drifting snow Tuesday could disrupt travel and create treacherous conditions for millions of Americans across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, just weeks after a snowstorm and "polar vortex" stranded thousands around the country.
Tuesday's storm is not predicted to be as intense or cause the same amount of disruption as the storm that hit in early January, but it will still pack a punch. An Alberta Clipper system racing across the Midwest and Central Appalachians is poised to disperse 6 to 8 inches of heavy snow Tuesday from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., to Charleston, W.Va. The snow will likely cripple traffic along the I-95 corridor Tuesday and make travel a nightmare across the highest elevations of the Potomac Highlands, where 8 to 10 inches is possible.
As the front races south, it will usher in a much colder air mass. Minneapolis, where temperatures climbed to 23 degrees Monday, will see a peak temperature of negative two on Tuesday. In Chicago, temperatures will plummet Monday night to 4 degrees, and the next day will be in the single digits with a high of 8. Normally, temperatures in the Windy City reach at least 30 degrees at this time of the year.
This arctic air mass responsible for the bitter cold across the plains will advance south and east over the next few days. As temperatures drop across the North Central Plains and Midwest, temperatures will also drop into the single digits across the mountains and the teens through the valleys. Accounting for wind chill values, the temperatures will feel like they are around zero Tuesday afternoon and 15 degrees below zero Tuesday night.
Roads will be wet and slippery across southern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia. Howling winds will also reduce visibility and create white-out conditions along roadways. Conditions will rapidly deteriorate Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday.
The area of low pressure delivering the snow to the Mid-Atlantic and southern portions of the Northeast Tuesday will sweep north and east Tuesday night towards Boston and Hartford, Conn., where 2 to 4 inches of snow is possible. Some areas could pick up as much as 7 inches of snow.
Travel delays can be expected on the roadways and at the airports, and school cancellations are likely.