By Cody Roark
A major winter storm is expected to hit the nation’s middle from north to south. It’s expected to strike from Colorado to Minnesota on Sunday. Bringing up to 16 inches of snow with it in some places, along with ice, slippery roads, and reduced visibility according to the National Weather Service.
This powerful storm is already in progress across the north-central United States. Heavy snow with blizzard conditions will be expected, at times, from northern Nebraska to northern Minnesota. The winter storm’s total snowfall could be over a foot across the Dakotas and Minnesota. The center of the heaviest snowfall should be centered over Wisconsin and northern Michigan by Monday. The winter weather conditions will most likely cause severe travel delays across all of these regions from now through Monday.
Officially, the National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a storm which contains large amounts of snow or blowing snow, with winds in excess of 35 mph and visibilities of less than a quarter of a mile for at least three hours. With the conditions being expected, the Heartlands should be in for just that.
According to Accuweather, the storm system has continued to intensify as it expanded northward into the Midwest over the weekend. A steady snow and increasingly gusty winds will be in store for places like North Platte, Nebraska, and Aberdeen, South Dakota through the remainder of the weekend and beginning of the week.
Sections of interstates 76, 80, and 90 along Colorado, Nebraska, and South Dakota have already began experiencing travel issues for those looking to return home following the holidays. Flight delays have also already been an issue for travelers. For those in the Midwest, this storm has severely disrupted people attempting to make it back home.
The northeastern United States is also expected to have impactful winter weather as more winter conditions develop below New England come Monday morning. A major ice storm is likely across northern New York and into central New England according the National Weather Service. There is potential for a quarter to half an inch of ice accretion in these areas and this will likely cause more disruptions for travelers and electrical service here as well. Snow and sleet should come farther north near the Canadian border with several inches of snow accumulation expected. Mainly rain is expected closer to the coast and for the major cities along Interstate 95.
For those of you trying to travel for the holidays, be aware of all these conditions and take necessary precautions. The ideal situation for these types of winter weather conditions is to avoid travel altogether, if you can prolong your visit. The National Weather Service advises, “If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”