First Alert Weather In-Depth: A more extreme weather pattern

ROCHESTER, N.Y. It looks like it could be time to finally get those winter driving skills put to the test. So far this season has been a relatively calm weather pattern.

The jet stream has fluctuated from time to time this season, but the average position has been moving almost directly from west to east across the U.S. and Canadian border. But there is a change happening where a lot of cold, arctic air is advancing on the western half of the country.

That is not all that unusual, but the arctic air is starting to spread to the south and east and the News10NBC First Alert meteorologists see a clash between these two weather systems, which contain drastically different sets of temperatures.

As a result, the jet stream is heading for a more extreme position. Instead of that gentle east-to-west flow, we expect a more drastic north-to-south pattern. There will likely be blizzard-like conditions for folks in the Upper Midwest.

It appears that North and South Dakota could see as much as 1 to 2 feet of snow with strong winds. In addition, there will be some heavy thunderstorms through the south such places as Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky.

This could produce a flash flooding rainfall. Then between those two areas, there is likely to be a risk for the potential ice with freezing rain and sleet. The focus of the ice would be for portions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and maybe back toward Minnesota.

Of course, it will be getting much colder heading into the weekend. We here in Western New York could see some mixed precipitation that will eventually change to accumulating snowfall for late Thursday into Friday.

It is always a complicated weather forecast and for the latest on our local News10NBC First Alert weather just click here.