An icy mess is possible in portions of the northeast on Sunday as light rain falls over frozen terrain, creating a freezing rain or freezing drizzle situation across portions of New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, West Virginia, and extreme northern Virginia. Due to the threat of icy conditions, the National Weather Service has issued Winter Weather Advisories over an extensive area.
High pressure is forecast to drift east today, its center expected to pass off of the Middle Atlantic coast this afternoon. The air mass will bring dry weather and plenty of sunshine to a region that has seen its fair share of wintry conditions over the last week. The center of the high is forecast to move farther out to sea tonight. Strong warm advection aloft is expected on the back side of the high as a brisk southwesterly low level jet slides over the northern Mid Atlantic from the west late tonight. Temperatures should fall into the upper teens and lower 20s at most locations this evening with readings forecast to rise slowly after midnight.
Precipitation ahead of a cold front approaching from the northwest will begin dropping light precipitation tomorrow morning from northwest to southeast. While the ground is cold, and in many cases, snow-covered, conditions aloft in the atmosphere should be too warm for snow or sleet to form. As such, with surface temperatures likely to be well below freezing as precipitation arrives, the precipitation type would be freezing rain or drizzle.
With residual cold air playing a factor along and north and west of I-95 where temperatures will struggle to warm above freezing, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for a light glaze of freezing rain accretion through all of central and eastern Pennsylvania , the northern half of New Jersey, southern Upstate New York, southern Vermont, western Massachusetts, northwestern Connecticut, central and western Maryland, northern Virginia, and northeastern West Virginia.
Fortunately, temperatures will be on the increase through the day Sunday which will help to promote melting in the afternoon before a deep freeze sets in. The cold front moves will finally clear the region Sunday night, with temperatures plunging to freezing cold levels once again.
People in the Winter Weather Advisory areas should travel with extreme caution, whether it be by car or by foot. Very slippery sidewalks, roads and bridges are possible. The hazardous conditions could impact the Sunday morning commute.