By The National Weather Service, Special for USDR.
…Heavy snow for portions of New England…
…Strong gusty winds for the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic states…
…Below normal temperatures across much of the eastern two-thirds of the contiguous U.S….
…Snow and ice developing from Kansas and Oklahoma eastward to the lower Ohio and Tennessee valleys….
Through the early hours of the period, generally light snows are expected to spread across the Northeast, ahead of a well-defined system currently dropping through the lower Great Lakes region. Expect a brief, but intense band of snow and rain showers to accompany a sharp cold front sweeping across the Ohio valley this afternoon and that is expected to reach the Mid-Atlantic states by this evening. This front will introduce gusty winds and an arctic airmass that is forecast to spread across much of the eastern two-thirds of the Lower 48 this period. Expect below zero to single digit high temperatures from the upper Mississippi valley eastward through the Great Lakes and Northeast on Sunday. Below normal temperatures will extend south all the way to the eastern and central Gulf Coasts on Sunday — with portions of the Great Lakes, Ohio valley and Mid-Atlantic states more than 30 degrees below their normal highs.
As the aforementioned system over the Great Lakes moves into the Northeast Saturday night into Sunday evening, an area of low pressure is forecast to develop and strengthen rapidly near Long Island and the southern New England coast. Blizzard conditions and powerful winds, with near hurricane force gusts, are possible along portions of the Northeast coast as this formidable system spins toward the Canadian Maritimes on Sunday. Heavy snowfall accumulations are likely, especially along the northern New England coast — adding to the already above average totals for the season. The heaviest amounts are expected to center along Down East Maine — where over 2 feet of snow appears likely.
Across the south-central U.S., precipitation is forecast to develop across the southern plains into the lower Mississippi valley and lower Ohio and Tennessee valleys late Sunday into Monday, as southerly low level winds begin to pull moisture from the Gulf of Mexico over the top of the arctic airmass in place at the surface. This combination of warm, moist air aloft and shallow subfreezing temperatures at the surface is expected to produce of swath of sleet and freezing rain from southern Oklahoma eastward across southern Arkansas into northern Mississippi and Alabama. Further the north, accumulating snows are likely from northern Oklahoma and eastern Kansas eastward into the lower Ohio and Tennessee valleys.