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Late-week weather pattern has forecasters on early alert for potentially significant storm

Alex Sosnowski

As a stormy pattern resumes in the eastern United States during the second week of December, meteorologists are pondering the path and impact of a storm around the middle of the month.

At this time, a storm looks to gather in the Deep South late on Thursday or Friday, bringing rounds of heavy, but beneficial rain to parts of the Southeast.

"Areas from South Florida to northern Georgia and upstate South Carolina are experiencing abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Bowers pointed out.

This storm should help to adjust those rain deficits that go back as far as the summer.

Through Friday, the storm will creep northeastward into the mid-Atlantic. As the storm moves northward, it will move into an area where overnight lows will drop to sub-freezing levels for several nights.

"The storm looks to move rather slowly, but the leading edge of precipitation on Thursday night and Friday could interact with the cold just long enough for some icy spots," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister.

At this time, the best chance for icy conditions would be in areas where the cold air will hold on the longest, from the southern Appalachians on east.

"A zone from western North Carolina to northern Virginia may by icy," Leister added.

The fate of the storm once it reaches the northeastern United States this coming weekend is not yet set in stone.

Americans with plans for Friday, Dec. 13, to Sunday, Dec. 15, should also be keeping tabs on the latest forecasts as this storm could potentially bring significant impacts to travel and daily activities.

"The exact track of the storm will indicate the severity of the impacts," Randy Adkins, AccuWeather meteorologist, said.

At this time, the storm is expected to push into the Northeast by Saturday morning, spreading rain from Florida to southern New England.

Such a dynamic storm may bring coastal flooding and even more flash flooding along the Eastern Seaboard as strong winds would pump moisture from the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico inland. The weather system could be volatile enough to spawn some severe thunderstorms along its eastern side.

Precipitation may also start off as a wintry mix in parts of northern New England early on Saturday before it warms up and precipitation changes over to all rain.

However, if the storm were to travel along the I-95 corridor, or track out to sea, snow and wintry precipitation could creep into more of the Northeast.

No matter the track of the storm, a storm of this size could certainly bring impacts to travel and shipping at a busy time of the year.

Those with plans over the weekend should consider alternate routes, or be flexible with what time they are on the roads, should the track of the storm shift in an unfavorable direction for your area.

Stormy weather and season whiplash is expected ahead of this emerging weather system late in the week across the Central and Eastern states. If one storm does not have a significant impact for your area, another one just might.

Download the free AccuWeather app to check the forecast in your area. Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.