Snow for Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, NYC, Boston for Jan 20-21 Jan 19 at 1:40 pm Snow shovels will be required from the Plains to the Northeast to close out the workweek and begin the weekend.

A fast-moving, but moist storm system threatens to bring the biggest snow of the winter so far to cities including Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Hartford and Boston. Farther south, warmer air will lead to a wintry mix in part of the New York City metro area, but a few inches of snow will greet people in the northern and western suburbs.

Plains, Midwest, Ohio Valley Impacts

The storm set to cause wintry trouble was delivering snow, ice and rain in the Northwest today and will rapidly move eastward across the Rockies this evening, spreading snow into part of the Dakotas and Upper Midwest after midnight.

A fluffy, powdery snow is expected due to fresh arctic air that poured into the region.

By Friday morning, the storm will begin to gather strength as it interacts with a strong temperature gradient across the Midwest. This will increase snowfall rates and, thus, accumulations.

A swath of 3-6 inches is anticipated from southern Minnesota to Chicago and into the northern Ohio Valley into Friday night.

Cities that will experience poor travel conditions Friday include Minneapolis, Minn., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Madison, Wis., Chicago, Ill., and Detroit, Mich.

Later Friday evening, snow should spread over the eastern Ohio Valley and push into the Northeast.

The heaviest snow is currently forecast to fall from far northern Indiana through northern Ohio where over half a foot of snow could fall.

The snow from around Chicago to Erie, Pa. can come down at an inch per hour pace for a few hours. Poor visibility and slick roads will result.

Other than snow, a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain could create icy conditions Friday night along the Ohio River. The snow may change to sleet for a time as far north as Indianapolis, Ind., and Columbus, Ohio.

While the sleet and freezing rain would cut down on total snow accumulations, it could put a dangerous glaze on roadways.

As the storm pushes into the Northeast late Friday night, snow will taper off from west to east across the Midwest and Ohio Valley by Saturday morning.