Snow and ice will spread east into the Ohio Valley, Tennessee Valley and eastern Great Lakes Friday.
That wintry mess will then arrive in parts of the Northeast Friday night into Saturday.
Heavy snow is possible from the eastern Great Lakes into northern New England.
Accumulating ice could lead to slippery roads and some power outages.
Winter Storm Hunter is now spreading its mess of snow and ice across a large swath of the Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley and will eventually become a Northeast headache tonight into Saturday.
(MORE: How Winter Storms are Named | Winter Storm Central)
As the cold front marches east, precipitation is changing from rain to freezing rain, sleet, then snow from the Great Lakes to the Ohio Valley and Tennessee Valley.
Freezing rain and sleet has developed in a line from western New York and Pennsylvania to parts of southern Ohio southward to parts of northern Kentucky. Snow persists from extreme western New York to central Ohio and southern Indiana southward to middle Tennessee. A few flurries have been reported across northern Alabama.
Black ice will be possible from Tennessee to New York where rain or freezing rain slickened roads freeze over this evening.
A few severe thunderstorms have even been reported across Pennsylvania and Maryland where air is warmer.
(MORE: Schools Closed, Roads Slickened)
A menagerie of winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings extend from the Mississippi Valley to the Tennessee and Ohio valleys, eastern Great Lakes and New England. These are posted in areas where travel is or is expected to be hazardous or dangerous.
Parts of western Kentucky and far southern Illinois picked up 3 to 7 inches of snow and sleet already.
Accumulating sleet coated roads in eastern Arkansas, west Tennessee, northern Mississippi, northern Louisiana and western Kentucky Friday. Interstate 40 in parts of western Tennessee were closed Friday afternoon following slick conditions and several accidents.
Union City, Tennessee saw an inch of sleet topped by 4.5 inches of snow on Friday.
Power outages were reported in Boonville, Indiana, and in Hopkins County, Kentucky. Power outages have also increased in parts of southeastern Michigan.
Freezing rain had developed in the Nashville and Louisville metro areas, and some icing in trees was seen in parts of western Ohio.
To the east, over 90 reports of flooding came in Friday morning from parts of West Virginia, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and New York state, including the Buffalo and Pittsburgh metro areas.
(MORE: Eastern Flood Threat Before the Snow, Ice Arrives)
- Precipitation in the Ohio Valley and near the eastern Great Lakes should transition to snow or sleet from west to east.
- Freezing rain may persist in a narrow band from parts of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, central and upstate New York to northern New England.
- Much of the rest of the Northeast, even as far north as southern Maine, should see rain.
- Drier air should work into much of the South during the mid- to late PM hours, which should increasingly limit precipitation across Mississippi and Alabama.
- Snow will linger in central and upstate New York state and far northern New England.
- A band of sleet and freezing rain may persist from the Poconos, Catskills and the Hudson Valley north of New York City into parts of western and northern New England.
Ice Accumulation Forecast
- As mentioned above, precipitation may start as rain before changing over to a period of freezing rain or sleet as the Arctic cold air marches in.
- Over a broad swath of the Ohio Valley and interior Northeast, enough sleet or ice should accumulate to make many untreated roads, especially bridges and overpasses, slippery.
- In some areas, shown by the dark purple shading on the map below, higher accumulations may lead to some downed tree limbs or weaker trees and trigger some power outages.
(MORE: Where Freezing Rain is Most Common in the U.S.)
- In the East, the heaviest snowfall is expected from the eastern Great Lakes to far northern New England.
- However, accumulating snow will extend through much of the Ohio Valley.
- This accumulating snow will likely occur after a layer of accumulating ice has been laid down in many of these areas.
Snowfall amounts up to 9 inches were reported Thursday in parts of the Plains, including 6.2 inches in Grand Forks, North Dakota, 6 inches in Bismarck, North Dakota, and 3 inches in Salina, Kansas.
In the upper Midwest, 2.8 inches of snow was observed at the National Weather Service office in Duluth, Minnesota.
An inch or two of snow was observed as far south as the Texas Panhandle early Thursday.
Blizzard conditions were observed in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service. A roughly 150-mile stretch of Interstate 29 was closed for several hours on Thursday morning north of Fargo, North Dakota, to the Canadian border.
(MORE: What is a Blizzard? | America’s Blizzard Alley)
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To the south, wind gusts to 76 mph have been clocked near Garden City, Kansas, with a 68-mph gust reported at Midland International Airport in Texas.
A mess of sleet and freezing rain was followed by a splash of quick moving snowfall across portions of Illinois, Missouri and Indiana on Thursday and Friday with heavier snowfall reported across southern Illinois and Indiana.
One to two inches of snow fell across southeastern Missouri, but up to one-half inch of sleet was reported in Poplar Bluff with freezing rain and snow mixed in. Incredibly, Oak Ridge, Missouri, near Cape Girardeau, picked up 4.5 inches of sleet according to the National Weather Service.
In Illinois, as much as 5.1 inches of snow fell in Carrier Mills, Illinois while Carbondale picked up one-half inch of sleet. Much of central and southern Illinois saw a light glaze of ice.
In Flint, Michigan residents saw 4.2 inches of snow as cold air kicked in.
Across much of the Midwest, precipitation was layered with snow on top of ice.
Much of eastern Arkansas picked up sleet, with up to an inch being reported near DeWitt with snow on top of that. Little Rock picked up a trace of sleet.
Icy roads were reported in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Jackson, Tennessee, among many other locations. Numerous vehicle accidents were reported on Interstate 22 in Union County, Mississippi due to ice.
Reports of snow had come in from as far south as Alexandria, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi, on the morning of Jan. 12. More than four inches of snow and sleet may have fallen in northern Louisiana according to the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center, but generally, amounts were less than 2 inches.
Other notable precipitation totals:
- 4.5 inches of snow in Union City, Tennessee
- 1.25 inches of sleet: Bolivar, Tennessee
- 1.0 inch of sleet: Blytheville, Arkansas
- 0.20 inches of sleet: Greenville, Mississippi
Check back with us at weather.com for updates to this forecast.