Winter Storm and Arctic Air Blast Could Hit Midwest, With Risk of Flooding in the Northeast

The central region of the country may be hit by a snowstorm next week that could cause flooding in the Northeast with heavy rain.

Should a powerful storm develop, the most impact is likely to be felt in the Midwest as the storm heads west passing over the Great Lakes area, while the Northeast could see flooding from heavy rainfall and fast-melting snow, Accuweather reported.

Currently, precipitation is forecast for the Four Corners region (the intersection of four states: Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona) on Thursday and a few winter weather advisories remain in effect for the Central/Southern Rockies through Thursday afternoon.

A winter weather advisory indicates that wintry precipitation, such as blowing snow, ice or sleet, will cause slippery road conditions and commuters are advised to take precautions.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in place for La Sal and Abajo Mountains in Utah, as well as the Grand and Battlement Mesas region, Uncompahgre Plateau, Dallas Divide and Southwest San Juan Mountains of Colorado until 5 p.m. (local time) on Thursday.

"As the low [pressure system] moves eastward, rain showers and a few thunderstorms will develop across the Southern Plains to Lower/Middle Mississippi Valley this evening, spreading into the Tennessee Valley and Southeast Thursday night into Friday," the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center (NWS WPC) said.

A fast-moving low pressure system known as an Alberta Clipper (which moves southeast from Alberta, Canada) is expected to pass over the Great Lakes and Northeast, bringing another batch of snowfall, along with strong winds and colder temperatures in the region.

If the major storm builds next week, the Northeast could be hit by heavy rain and melting snow that may cause severe flooding.

But regardless of the strength of the storm, a cold Arctic air blast stretching from the northern and central Plains to the Midwest and Northeast will drop temperatures to as low as in the teens, single digits and below 0°F across a large portion of the North Central states next week, according to AccuWeather's "RealFeel Temperature" equation, which takes humidity, cloud cover, winds, sun intensity and angle of the sun into account to determine how cold or hot temperatures actually feel.

The coldest air of the early winter is expected to be felt in the north central region around Wisconsin by the middle of next week, preceded by snowfall between 3 to 9 inches.

"Arctic air arrives overnight into Friday morning. Low temperatures are expected to drop to around zero along the Lake Michigan shoreline to the teens to lower 20's below zero [Fahrenheit] across central and north-central Wisconsin.

Cold westerly winds over the warmer waters of the Great Lakes is producing lake-effect snow across several states.

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— National Weather Service (@NWS) December 4, 2019

"Cold air will then pour into the state from the north starting late Monday night, bringing wind chills well below zero by mid-week," the NWS said.

A wind chill advisory has been issued for north-central Wisconsin, with the Arctic air causing elevated risks of frostbite and hypothermia.

Over in the West, snowfall of more than 6 inches is possible in some parts, with the storm system reaching the region by Friday. Heavy rainfall is predicted from central and southern California to Washington and snow showers are likely at the higher elevation levels in Utah, central Nevada and Colorado.

Temperatures are forecast to be a little lower than normal in the Northeast and above normal across the Deep South of the country throughout Friday.

Madison Wisconsin snow storm December 2012
Crews remove pile up snow from around the Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin after a heavy snow storm on December 21, 2012. Getty Images