The relentless winter of 2013-14 has another trick up its sleeve: A potent snowstorm is forecast to blast portions of the Midwest and Northeast tonight, Wednesday and Thursday with as much as 2 feet of snow.
If enough snow falls, the storm could break Detroit's seasonal snowfall record and give Chicago its second snowiest winter. It also could bring the heaviest snowfall of the year to Burlington, Vt., where 12-16 inches are forecast.
"The corridor from northern Illinois to northern New England has the greatest potential of being targeted by the substantial snow," according to AccuWeather meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski. The heaviest snow is likely in northern New York state and northern New England.
The National Weather Service has put winter storm warnings and watches into effect from northern Illinois to northern Maine.
This winter, Detroit has picked up 84.1 inches — that's 7 feet — of snow, the second-most on record, according to the weather service. If 9.5 inches falls, 2013-14 would be the snowiest season on record in the Motor City, breaking a record set in 1880-81.
Blizzard conditions are possible overnight in the snow-battered Chicago area, which has seen 75.5 inches of the white stuff.
The Weather Channel has named the storm Winter Storm Vulcan, the network's 22nd named storm of the winter season.
South of where the snow falls, strong to severe thunderstorms could wallop portions of the Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday. Cities such as Philadelphia, Washington, Richmond, Va., and Raleigh, N.C., are at risk of damaging winds, according to AccuWeather meteorologist John Gresiak.
"There may be enough spin in the atmosphere to spark an isolated tornado or two," Gresiak said.
Once the storm roars though, bitterly cold Arctic air again will plunge across much of the central and eastern USA Wednesday and Thursday.
Near-record low temperatures are possible Thursday morning and Friday morning in the Great Lakes and the Northeast, according to the Weather Channel. Cities such as Detroit, Toledo, Ohio, Fort Wayne, Ind., and Grand Rapids, Mich., could see lows in the single digits.
Many locations will see temperatures 20 to 40 degrees colder Thursday than Wednesday. Washington, which will see highs in the 70s on Wednesday, will endure temperatures only in the 30s on Thursday, along with howling winds.