State College, Pa. — 6 February 2013 — AccuWeather reports while the pattern of spotty, nuisance snowfalls as dominated the weather recently, two storms are set to join forces to unleash a blizzard across eastern New England as Friday comes to a close.
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 Northeast spanning Thursday night into Friday night.
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.
The clipper itself is likely to spread moderate to heavy snow from southern Wisconsin and central Michigan to upstate New York, while the storm to the south delivers soaking rain from the western Gulf Coast to the Carolinas.
When these two storms join forces, a fierce blizzard is expected to unfold across eastern New England from Portland to Boston to Providence.
Blizzard conditions will develop in this corridor Friday afternoon, leading to a nightmare for the evening commute. The worst of the blizzard will then howl Friday night.
To the north and west, snow also threatens to cause slippery travel and delays across the rest of New England and eastern New York later Friday into Friday night. This could potentially include New York City.
Milder air (or the retreat of arctic air) is another issue with this storm. Odds favor Friday to start with rain from around New York City to Cape Cod, but that should not stop snow from coming down Friday night.
By Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.com