A blast of heavy snow and Arctic air will make it feel like the dead of winter this week instead of mid-fall. Snow plow drivers will be busy, and truck drivers will likely be delayed. Record cold is possible from the Midwest and Northeast all the way to the Gulf Coast.
Lake-effect snow machine
Unseasonably cold air will be streaming across the Great Lakes tonight, Nov. 10, through Tuesday, Nov. 12, producing the first major lake-effect snow event this season. The combination of unusually early winter-like cold and warmer-than-average water temperatures of the Great Lakes will set the stage for robust bursts of snowfall. The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting the largest accumulations — 10 to 24 inches — in portions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and far northern Wisconsin, as well as northwestern and eastern sections of lower Michigan.
Totals of five to 10 inches are likely from South Bend, Indiana, to Benton Harbor, Michigan. Accumulations of three to six inches will be common away from the lake shores across other parts of Michigan, northern Indiana and northwestern Ohio. Gusty winds will create wind chills around 0 or just below 0 Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
Northern New England
While lake-effect snow continues across the Great Lakes on Monday night and Tuesday, the core of the snowstorm will make a beeline for the Northeast. Last week’s early season storm will pale in comparison to the approaching one. This week’s storm is likely to produce two to three times as much snow — 12 to 24 inches — in upstate portions of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Farther south, look for totals of five to 10 inches. Freezing rain and sleet will make roads extra slick in some areas before changing to snow.
Drivers may have a tough time on several highways, including interstates 80, 81, 86, 90 and 94, and gusty winds may knock down trees and utility lines in some areas. Scattered power outages are possible, especially in areas where leaves haven’t fallen.
The worst of the storm will mostly be north and west of the I-95 corridor and major freight markets in the Northeast. However, disruptions to local and regional business operations and supply chains are likely. This includes not only road transportation, but air, rail and loading/unloading of freight at intermodal ramps.
Temperatures will drop drastically behind the storm. The jet stream will help spread extremely unseasonably cold air from the Great Lakes and Northeast to the Gulf Coast through mid-week. According to the NWS, record low temperatures could be set in about 150 locations.
High temperatures Monday will be stuck in the teens and 20s across much of the Midwest and the Great Lakes. It could be the coldest Veterans Day on record in cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis.
By Tuesday, highs may only reach the 30s as far south as Tupelo, Mississippi, Huntsville, Alabama, and Chattanoga, Tennessee. The Florida Panhandle may shiver with morning lows in the 30s Wednesday and Thursday. Low temperatures may fall below freezing all the way to the Gulf Coast. Drivers may want to pour winter additive in their diesel. Especially in the South, these temperatures are well below normal for mid-November. Overall, temperatures will warm up later in the week, but the northern tier will stay chilly.