Winter Storms Could Bring up to a Foot of Snow to the Midwest and Northeast

Winter Storms Could Bring up to a Foot of Snow to the Midwest and Northeast
A NOAA satellite image of the United States taken Feb. 19, 2019. Winter storm Petra will move across the American Midwest towards the northeast. (NOAA)
Margaret Wollensak

Winter storm Petra is set to move across the United States, traveling through the American Midwest to the Northeast and bringing with it snow, sleet, rain, and ice. The weather will be felt through to late Wednesday, possibly into Thursday, Feb. 21.

While heavy rainfall—and possible flash flooding—will occur towards the southeast, a wintry mixture of snow and ice is expected for a large part of the Mid-Atlantic region and central Appalachians, the National Weather Service warned.

At least 30 states are set to get snow, ice, or rain from Petra.

“Since this storm will have a great deal of moisture available to it from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, a substantial amount of precipitation is likely,” said Accuweather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.

Overnight and into the morning, the storm dumped so much snow in New Mexico that there were more than 200 closures and delays across the state, the Associated Press reports. Forecasters say as much as 6 inches of snow can be expected in some areas of Albuquerque, while other areas of the state could see up to a foot of snow.

The National Weather Service warned that in areas where the winter storm will hit, the icy conditions could be dangerous. Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories have been issued from Tuesday evening through Wednesday evening.

The watch areas include large areas of the Midwest and Northeast. Ice accumulations are also possible.

“When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury,” the National Weather Service said in a weather warning. “Expect slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.”

In areas with a winter storm warning, the National Weather Service also warns that sporadic power outages are possible.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health recommended in a tweet that people do not drive unless it’s necessary, and to ensure they have an updated vehicle emergency kit with them if they do.

They also recommended updating at-home family emergency kits.

Another winter storm is expected to track south from the Pacific Northwest, bringing heavy snow across south central and southeast Washington and central and northeast Oregon this afternoon through Wednesday night, says the National Weather Service. This includes the Cascades, Blue Mountains, the Foothills of the Blue Mountains, and Wallowa County. Areas of high elevation could see over a foot of snowfall.

This winter storm is expected to reach Nevada and California later this week.

Forecasters say snow levels around Southern California could fall as low as 1,500 feet almost anywhere, except along the coast, reports the Associated Press.