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Next Clipper to Become Northeast Snowstorm; Winter Storm Warnings Issued for D.C., Baltimore

January 20, 2014

The past week has been marked by a series of Alberta clippers diving southeast out of Canada on an almost daily basis, bringing bouts of snow and wind from the Midwest to parts of the East.

Most Alberta clippers don't bring large amounts of snow. But there seems to be something about Tuesday clippers this month – last week's Tuesday clipper overperformed in Wisconsin, and this Tuesday it looks like one of these clippers will likely turn into a significant snowfall for parts of the Northeast.

Background

Current Radar

Current Radar

Current Radar

Current Radar

(MORE: What is an Alberta Clipper?)

Clipper Highlights So Far

Last Tuesday, the first in this parade of clipper systems brought significant accumulating snow to parts of the Upper Midwest. We saw a few amounts in excess of 10 inches in central Wisconsin, with 11 inches reported at Oconto, Wis. Lighter amounts fell over parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota.

On Thursday, a strong Alberta clipper system dove south through the Northern Plains, bringing blizzard conditions in parts of Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Iowa. Winds in excess of 70 mph screamed through North and South Dakota. Thundersnow was detected around Des Moines, Iowa late Thursday afternoon. A snow squall brought two inches in one hour, with wind gusts to 50 mph to the Des Moines metro.

On Saturday, two separate clippers brought particularly treacherous weather conditions to New England and the Midwest. Eight inches of snow fell in Tolland, Mass. while 5.8 inches of snow fell in Bedford, Mass. Meanwhile, 5.5 inches of snow fell in Streator, Ill., and just over two inches (2.4") of snow fell at O'Hare Airport in Chicago. In West Lafayette, Ind., over four inches of snowfall coupled with low visibility created poor travel conditions and resulted in a fiery, multi-vehicle accident that forced the closure of Interstate 65.

(MORE: Winter Driving Tips)

Background

Monday

Monday

Monday

Monday
Background

Tuesday

Tuesday

Tuesday

Tuesday

Several more systems resembling Alberta clippers are poised to bring more light snow.

Counting Clippers

Background

Current Winter Alerts

Current Winter Alerts

Current Winter Alerts

Current Winter Alerts
Background

Additional Snowfall Forecast

Additional Snowfall Forecast

Additional Snowfall Forecast

Additional Snowfall Forecast

We will be following two clipper-type systems Monday.

The lead disturbance swings from the northern Great Lakes across the interior Northeast, bringing snow to parts of upstate New York and northern New England. Strictly speaking, the mechanism driving the snow will be the arctic cold front pushing into the region, with snow breaking out behind the front. In any case, light additional accumulations are expected from western New York to northern New Hampshire.

(FORECAST: Buffalo, N.Y.Syracuse, N.Y. | Burlington, Vt.)

Meanwhile, a second clipper will dive south from central Canada, taking a track much farther west and south across the Midwest, more like the clippers early last week. This will bring some intermittent light snow from the Dakotas southeastward into the Ohio Valley Monday and Monday night.

Very strong winds will accompany the clipper over the Northern Plains, but mostly in areas seeing little or no snow accumulation over the western Dakotas.

The cold blast behind it could bring significant lake-effect snowfall to parts of northwest Indiana and southwest Lower Michigan Monday night into Tuesday. Lake-effect snow watches have been posted for this area.

(FORECAST: Fargo, N.D. | Minneapolis | Milwaukee | Chicago | Columbus, Ohio)

This second clipper will then spawn a more intense low-pressure center somewhere over or near North Carolina by Tuesday morning. This low pressure will quickly move to the Mid-Atlantic coast and swing northeastward while intensifying.

Computer model simulations continue to grow more aggressive on the snowfall potential from this part of the clipper's path. We now expect significant accumulating snow for the central Appalachians and points eastward all the way to the Delmarva Peninsula, and northeastward along the I-95 corridor into southern New England.

As a result, winter storm warnings have been issued from much of West Virginia east into the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas for Tuesday.

(FORECAST: Snowshoe, W.Va. | Washington, D.C. | Baltimore)

Winter storm watches have been posted for other parts of the I-95 corridor, including areas as far south as Richmond, Va.

(FORECAST: Philadelphia | New York City | Boston)

That cold blast will be followed by yet another clipper system across the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame, bringing light snow and blustery winds yet again.

(FORECAST: Arctic Blast, Bitter Cold Temperatures Ahead)

MORE: Photos of the Early January 2014 Deep Freeze

St. Louis

St. Louis

The low of 8 below zero Monday, Jan. 6, was the city's coldest since a low of -12 Feb. 3, 1996, and the first subzero low at all since Jan. 5, 1999. Photo: Ice in the Mississippi River flows past the Gateway Arch Tuesday, Jan. 7. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

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