Posted December 26, 2017 7:04 p.m. EST
Much of the central and eastern United States will be in the grip of arctic air Wednesday. Below-average temperatures are forecast from the Atlantic Coast to the High Plains, with the cold air centered over the North-Central states. High pressure will be centered near Iowa. Most areas from New England and the mid-Atlantic coast to the Plains will be dry, except for bands of heavy lake-effect snow downwind of the Great Lakes. Light snow may coat some surfaces over the central Appalachians to the Chesapeake Bay area for a time.
Farther south, a cold rain is forecast in the Deep South. This rain will fall on the southern edge of the arctic air from the coastal areas of the Carolinas and northern Florida to central and southern Texas. On the northern edge of this rain, spotty ice may occur for a time. A second storm may spring up Thursday with a chance of more widespread sleet and freezing rain in Georgia and the Carolinas.
In the West, a storm is projected to bring a bit of snow to the northern Rockies and High Plains. Rain will fall along coastal areas of Washington and Oregon as moisture continues to roll in from the Pacific Ocean. Much of the Southwest can expect a dry day. Light winds will aid firefighting efforts, but may lead areas of poor air quality.
FOCUS: Snow to Spread Across the Midwest
Snow is expected to spread east across the Midwest later Wednesday into Thursday night. Snow amounts will average 1 to 3 inches. The snow may easily coat roads and sidewalks with the frigid air in place. More snow may follow by the weekend.