The next major winter-storm is looming for tomorrow and into the weekend and with it a nasty mix of heavy snow, heavy rain, strong almost gale-force winds and even a severe thunderstorm outbreak as far north as southern Illinois for tomorrow evening and into Saturday!
Dealing with the snow first – and there will be plenty of it. Patchy snow showers will gather pace through Friday in the Rockies giving some local accumulations of 2-4″. The significant, prolonged snowfall from what will likely be “Winter storm Carter” will start early Saturday for much of South Dakota, south east Montana, and northern Nebraska. Before extending into the rest of Nebraska, northern Iowa, the far south of Minnesota, and some central (highland) parts of Wisconsin later on Saturday and into Saturday night.
The highest accumulations will be through central and southern South Dakota and central + northern Nebraska. Here 5-8 inches of snow will fall widely with up to 10-12″ on upland areas. Elsewhere, for the other regions indicated above that wil lsee the snow later on Saturday and into Saturday night, accumulations will be in the region of 2-6″, fairly insignificant and the further east you go, into Wisconsin, as the snow arrives later on Saturday it will be mixing with sleet to lower levels giving a wet wintry mix. For much of the lakes it will be too warm for snow, so just rain can be expected. However, slightly colder air will dig south on Sunday so much of the mid west, great lakes that were too mild on Saturday will become cold enough for snow, however by this stage the precipitation will be mostly light and patchy so any snowfall shouldn’t be too disruptive.
Another issue mentioned was strong winds, now large portions of the central country, great plains and mid west on Saturday with gusts of 40-50mph locally. The strong winds will extend north east into the lakes and north east into Sunday with similar wind gusts. No major problems from this are expected, however where the snow will be drier in the central plains on Saturday there’s the potential for some drifting snow, with drifts of 2-4ft possible in exposed places.
Another issue mentioned was heavy rain. Pretty much all central and southern parts of the country will get some heavy rain through Saturday, with heavy rain spreading into the east later Saturday into Sunday. However some areas will pick up very heavy rainfall. One of those will be the south east, especially the Florida panhandle, potentially south east Alabama and southern Georgia on Saturday. Here 4-8 inches of rain could fall locally. The second area of concern is late Friday into the early hours of Saturday for more central areas. Severe thunderstorms could trek all the way from north east Texas through Arkansas and into southern Illinois which is quite unusual for this time of year. This post from Accuweather sums it up quite nicely. Stay safe and thank you for reading.