Just as the calendar flips to April, a quick-moving snowstorm will race eastward from the central U.S. to the mid-Atlantic and southern New England.
To the north of the storm’s track, a narrow swath of wet snow is expected. The band of accumulating snow may be no more than 100 miles wide, so a 50-mile shift in the storm track could mean the difference between several inches of snow, rain or dry weather.
“This snow event will last 6 hours or less in any one community, but that will be enough time to whiten the ground with some areas also facing slick travel,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.
Most communities along the path of the storm will receive 1-3 inches, but there can be localized zones of 3-6 inches.
Although snow will stick to grassy surfaces along the entire swath, the majority of snow that falls during the daylight hours will melt on paved and concrete surfaces due to the April sun angle.
“While accumulating snow is typically hard to come by in the springtime as temperatures inch upwards, any snow falling overnight will have an easier time sticking to roads and sidewalks,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Faith Eherts.
“The snow will fall heavily along a narrow swath, and that is what could overcome the effect of the strong sun and cause roads and sidewalks to turn slushy and slick for a time, even during the day,” Pydynowski said.
Snow should break out in portions of eastern Wyoming and Nebraska and streak eastward through northern Missouri and central Illinois on Easter Sunday.
Slippery travel and snow-covered roadways will again become an issue from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic, where most of the snow should fall on Sunday night.
Motorists will not be the only ones impacted.
“Flights in and out of Indianapolis; Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Allentown and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, could face delays and cancellations Sunday evening through Monday morning,” Eherts said.
Higher traffic volume is expected this Easter weekend, so those in the path of the storm should allot extra time to get to their destinations and be prepared for adverse, rapidly-changing weather conditions.
Large portions of interstates 29, 35, 70, 75, 80 and 95 lie in the path of the storm.
“Due to the urban heat island effect, roads are expected to be mostly wet in New York City,” Pydynowski said. “However, motorists traveling in from the suburbs early on Monday morning may encounter slick travel for a time.
Deicing can lead to delays at the New York City airports, she added.
Any snow in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., on Sunday night is expected to mix with rain and leave little, if any accumulation.
How disruptive the snow is to travelers along the I-95 corridor of southern New England from New Haven, Connecticut, to Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston depends on timing, storm track and intensity of the precipitation.
If the storm tracks slightly farther north and arrives only a few hours sooner than currently expected, then more snow would have a chance to accumulate on roadways before sunrise on Monday.
Regardless, any travel problems across the Northeast should clear up quickly Monday afternoon when strong April sunshine returns and temperatures climb back into the 40s and 50s.
“Where temperatures dip below freezing north of I-80, any wet or slushy areas can turn icy on untreated surfaces on Monday night,” Pydynowski said.