A Large scale winter storm will move from the southwest United States and Rockies through the Central Plains and into the northeastern states this weekend. Numerous Winter Storm Watches from the central Rockies through the Plains to the Great Lakes have been changed to warnings. The storm will bring a mixture of heavy rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain to a large portion of the nation.
So, the first major winter storm of the year is underway across the plains and upper midwest. This storm is huge. Earlier this week, some were forecasting that it would strike us with accumulating snow and ice, but it turns out we are on the wrong side of the storm. The low is tracking to our north which puts us on the warmer side of the storm. Although 'warm' is a relative term because it is cold outside. At 3pm, the temperature has not risen above 31 degrees. As the warm front approaches us, and then moves to our northeast, the temperatures will begin to rise later this afternoon and evening. There have been a few sleet pellets and some light freezing rain in the area this afternoon, but nothing that has done anymore than dampen the roads.
In the upper midwest though, icing is a big concern. Areas of northwestern Illinois and eastern Iowa are expecting up to a 1/2 inch of ice accumulation. Areas of central and northern Minnesota and Wisconsin are expecting up to 18 inches of snowfall with strong winds to blow it all around. *sigh* We'll get our turn eventually.
The snowpack is growing across North America. I think we'll have snow before Christmas.