2023 to kick off with another snowstorm for the northern plains, upper midwest
AccuWeather meteorologists are tracking a potent storm that is poised to unleash severe weather across the South with snow and ice farther north and west over areas that have already received a surplus of winter precipitation so far this season.
A storm that crashed onshore in california With heavy rain and mountain snow at the beginning of the weekend, it will track over the Four Corners region on Sunday before taking a southwest to northeast track across the nation’s midsection spanning Monday through Tuesday.
As mild, moist air is catapulted into the southern and central states early in the week and results in soaking rain and severe weather, the back side of the storm will have cold and snowy conditions filtering into the northern plains and east of the Rockies, AccuWeather Meteorologist Nicole LoBiondo said.
Unlike the massive storm that swept across the country in the days leading up to Christmas and unleashed days of heavy snow with blizzard conditions across the North Central states, AccuWeather meteorologists say the worst conditions with more than 6 inches of snow possible will target a rather narrow corridor of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
Despite the worst conditions expected to only encompass a rather compact zone, AccuWeather experts say that travel both on the road and in the air will once again be significantly impacted by this system.
Winter storm watches have been hoisted from northeastern Colorado to southwestern Minnesota for early next week ahead of the multifaceted storm.
Within the corridor of heaviest snow, a swath of 6-12 inches is likely from portions of South Dakota and Nebraska to Minnesota and Wisconsin.
AccuWeather forecasters say there is still some wiggle room in exactly where this band of heaviest snow sets up, as that will be dependent on the exact track of the storm. Possibilities ranging from the heavy snowfall setting up to the north of, south of or directly over the Minneapolis metro area were all still on the table as of midday Saturday.
FargoNorth Dakota, and Duluth, Minnesota, are two other locales where snowfall amounts could be significantly lower should there be any shift southward in the track of the storm. Dry air to the north of the storm will lead to a significant variation in snowfall totals over a span of 50 miles or less.
Confidence is high on where the heaviest snow will fall for the entire event, with the Colorado Rockies as well as the Wasatch range in Utah most likely to come close to the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 48 inches.
AccuWeather’s expert team urges people who may be traveling in theses areas during the first days of the new year to stay up-to-date on the forecast along their route.
“People with plans to travel along interstates 29, 35, 80, 90 and 94 on Monday and Tuesday should anticipate delays, reduced visibility from blowing snow and slick and snow-covered roads,” LoBiondo said.
Wind is not expected to be as widespread of an issue compared to the pre-Christmas storm, but blustery conditions can lead to localized whiteouts at times.
In some areas, rain or a winter mix will precede the snow.
“There is the potential for a period of sleet and/or freezing rain across the Midwest from Monday into Monday night,” LoBiondo said, adding that the most likely zone for a period of ice is from northwestern Kansas to southern Minnesota and western and central portions of Wisconsin.
The ice is not expected to be long-lasting enough to raise concerns of widespread power outages or tree damage, but just enough of a glaze of ice can occur throughout this corridor to make it dangerous for motorists and pedestrians to venture onto untreated surfaces.
By the middle of the week, a few flurries may be all that’s left of the storm over the North Central states, with a quieter stretch of weather expected for the remainder of the week.
The upcoming round of winter precipitation is just the latest in what has been a rather stormy start to the winter season across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, with many cities running significantly above average in terms of snowfall.
For example, Minneapolis has received 32.6 inches of snow since Nov. 1, 2022, compared to the average during the time frame of nearly 18 inches. RapidCity and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as well as Fargo, have also tallied snow amounts of 150-160% of normal since Nov. 1.
Although Bismarck, North Dakota, is expected to miss most, if not all of the snow with the early week storm, they are another city that has racked up impressive snowfall totals so far this season, receiving 51.3 inches or 288% of normal. since Nov. 1.
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