Thursday Blizzard From Omaha to Des MoinesThe storm could bring significant moisture to the drought-stricken region
A storm system set to emerge from the Rockies later in the week will bring blizzard conditions, as well as needed moisture, to portions of the central Plains.
There is the potential for flight and ground travel disruptions from Denver to Chicago. There is also the potential for significant moisture in the drought-stricken region.
While the storm will affect a vast area from Texas to the Dakotas, the wintry side of the storm will affect areas from the Rockies to the Upper Midwest during the second half of this week after hitting areas from California to Utah, Arizona and New Mexico with snow, wind and cold.
Locally blinding, heavy snow will fall over the passes of the Rockies.
As the storm pulls away from the Rockies, it will reorganize, causing wind-whipped snow to redevelop.
The first trouble spot on the Plains will be around Denver Wednesday night, where enough snow and plunging temperatures can occur to create travel problems.
As the storm progresses farther east, howling winds and driving snow will bring several hours of blizzard conditions to places from Goodland, Kan., to Grand Island and Omaha, Neb., Huron and Sioux Falls, S.D., and Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday night into Thursday. The strongest winds will be on the front side of the storm and its snow. Severe blowing and drifting snow in the wake of the storm are not likely.
First: Snow, Mix Monday Midwest, Tuesday Northeast
Big, Cold Storm to Blast California, Southwest U.S. First
Midweek Severe Weather Risk Texas to Mississippi
Farther southeast, areas such as Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo., are projected to receive a mixture of rain, ice and snow Thursday. Significant icing could potentially take down tree limbs and lead to scattered power outages across central and northern Missouri to central Illinois.
Mostly snow is forecast to fall around Chicago later Thursday and Thursday night with the storm likely to be not only the biggest storm of the winter so far, but also a very disruptive one at that.
Accumulating snow can reach as far north as Minneapolis with significant snow likely over southern Wisconsin.
Expect travel problems due to snow and/or ice along I-29, I-35, I-70, I-80 and I-90.
The winter storm will be set up by a fresh push of arctic air Tuesday. The charge of cold air is being preceded by windswept snow to start this week in part of the northern Plains and the Upper Midwest.
According to Agriculture Weather Expert Dale Mohler, "In addition to the likelihood of travel disruptions, a general half a foot to a foot of snow can deliver the equivalent to one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch of rain on average over the central Plains."
Farther south, the storm is likely to bring a significant severe weather outbreak from Texas to Mississippi spanning Wednesday night to Thursday night.
Be sure to stay with AccuWeather.com as our meteorologists continue to unravel all the details.
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