State College, Pa. — 5 February 2013 — AccuWeather reports while the pattern of spotty, nuisance snowfalls will continue this week, there is a chance that two storms join forces to target part of the Northeast with substantial snowfall Friday.
A weak storm from western Canada, known as an Alberta Clipper, could sync fast enough with a storm from the south to bring more than spotty, intermittent precipitation to parts of the mid-Atlantic and New England spanning Thursday night into Friday night.
The end of the week clipper follows a number of systems, including one that is affecting part of the Midwest Tuesday.
About one out of five Alberta Clippers strengthens upon nearing the coast and deposits heavy snow in the process. An even lower percentage of these storms merge with a southern system near the coast, forming a much stronger storm with heavy precipitation.
Milder air (or the retreat of arctic air) is another issue with this storm. Odds favor rain or a wintry mix from around New York City on south and over part of Cape Cod. However, more snow could potentially fall over the northern part of the mid-Atlantic and especially farther north into central New England with slippery travel and delays.
The clipper itself is likely to bring a light to moderate snowfall over upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and central New England. How quickly the southern storm joins in on the fun will determine the intensity.
If it happens late in the game, Cape Cod and Nova Scotia would be more likely to have the heaviest precipitation.
If the systems were to merge quickly and track near the New England coast, winds would markedly increase and heavy snow would be thrown into northern New England with more wintry mix issues in some central areas.
While there is the potential for a major storm and the associated travel problems in part of the Northeast Friday, this is not yet the time to change plans. Perhaps have a backup in case the full storm comes to fruition.
The details will unfold over the next couple of days. AccuWeather.com will continue to update you on the storm potential as new information become available.
By Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.com