Winter Storm Iola Threatens Northeast: What You Need To Know

A new winter storm named Iola, is threatening to make a mess out of things this weekend and here is what you need to know.

Residents all over the northeast are bracing for winter storm Iola, which is expected to peak between Friday night and Saturday night. After a weekend in which we saw some spectacular pile-ups because of wintery conditions, those in the northeast United States are bracing for much of the same, but in wider areas.

Iola has already created havoc in the south, bringing unexpected snow to areas in the South from Texas to New Mexico, where people are not used to seeing the white powder at all. Forecasters think that once Iola reaches the northeast, it will quickly intensify when a “bombogenesis” – a rapid pressure drop of at least 24 millibars in 24 hours — takes place.

The problem with this particular winter storm is that there are areas which will see ice develop due to warmer air temperatures. There’s a risk of some ice accumulation in western North Carolina, western Virginia, and eastern West Virginia, as well as parts of interior Massachusetts exists, meteorologists say.

Winter Storm Iola snow predictions
Winter Storm Iola snowfall predictions (Image via Weather Channel)

The Weather Channel is making predictions of total snowfall that will come with Winter Storm Iola and warning residents in the northeast to avoid the roads if at all possible. Since the event will happen on the weekend, it will be a best case scenario.

“At this time the most likely outcome is a stripe of accumulating snow from the Smoky Mountains through parts of the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to the Canadian border, with the peak timing being Friday night through Saturday night.”

“The heavier totals are expected to target southern and eastern New England; this is where totals exceeding 6 inches are more likely to occur, as more of the precipitation will fall after sunset Saturday.”

Some areas could see snowfall that accumulates at rates of a half-inch per hour, while other areas will get rain with winter storm Iola. The National Weather Service has issued winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories from western North Carolina all the way to eastern Maine.

Meteorologists expects winter storm Iola to be a mostly rain mixed with snow event, when it first arrives on Friday night near the I-95 corridor including Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. The best chance for seeing snow is northwest of I-95 in the Middle Atlantic.

According to predictions, most of the major cities should change from snow to rain and then possibly back to snow during the day Saturday, with gusty winds possible in coastal locations. By Saturday night, it is expected that winter storm Iola will have moved mostly to eastern New England, including Providence, Rhode Island, Boston, and Portland, Maine. High winds are also expected in this area.

Forecasters have warned that the predictions are uncertain due to several weather factors, including a low pressure system, which makes the accuracy of the path and snowfall totals for winter storm Iola less than certain. This is the first major weather event the U.S. has seen this winter.

[Image via Shutterstock]