For millions across the South, this weekend’s winter storm is the talk of the town. Will it bring snow or ice — and how much?
Even the mid-Atlantic and Northeast will get in on the action. So much is still to be determined, but one thing is 100% certain — it’s happening. A strong area of low pressure coming out of British Columbia will dive down across the central United States on Friday, basically heading due south. It will carry with it incredible cold from Canada — and there will be enough moisture in place to dump lots of snow across multiple regions through the weekend.
“Conditions are expected to rapidly deteriorate across parts of North Dakota tonight, before snow shifts into eastern South Dakota and southwest Minnesota on Friday morning,” the Weather Prediction Center said Thursday. “Widespread snowfall totals greater than 4 inches are likely, with over 8 inches possible from southeast North Dakota to central Iowa.” In some places, including Des Moines, Iowa, snow will begin to fall Friday. “The duration of snowfall is likely to be from 14 to 20 hours in most locations which should allow for widespread accumulation of over 4 inches and some locations exceeding 8 or more inches,” said the National Weather Service in Des Moines.
Driving conditions will quickly become extremely dangerous for these areas, as the roads quickly fill with snow. “Visibility will also be greatly reduced within heavy snow bands with rates up to one inch per hour and during periods of gusty winds,” said the prediction center. Winds in excess of 60 mph are possible through the High Plains on Friday as the cold front races through. The winds will cause any fresh snow to be blown around, reducing visibility, especially on the roads.