Snowstorm Whitens Colorado to Minnesota, Threatens Travel

By , Senior Meteorologist
November 5, 2013; 5:11 AM ET
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Play video Weather across the North Central region is detailed in the above AccuWeather.com video.

A storm is spreading snow from Colorado and Wyoming to the Upper Midwest, leading to slippery travel.

Portions of I-70 were snow-covered in Colorado, including Vail Pass, creating hazardous travel conditions for motorists early Tuesday.

According to the Nebraska Department of Transportation, people are urged to use extreme caution due to the winter weather across western portions of the state. Roads were also slippery across western South Dakota, including the Rapid City area, early Tuesday.

Portions of Nebraska's Highway 14, near the South Dakota border, were covered in snow and ice early Tuesday evening.

Emergency management in Estherville, Iowa reported numerous car accidents on Tuesday evening.

As of Tuesday evening, portions of South Dakota already had close to 10 inches of snow, according to an NWS spotter. In Nebraska, 7 inches of snow reportedly fell in Agate, according to another NWS spotter.

The snow will continue to spread northeastward from western and northern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming Tuesday to the vicinity of western Lake Superior by later Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Cities in the path of the snowstorm include Cheyenne, Wyo.; Valentine, Neb.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; St. Cloud, Duluth and Minneapolis, Minn.

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The snow is edging northward to the Black Hills and Rapid City, S.D., where the early October blizzard devastated the region's cattle herd and dropped up to four feet of snow.

The good news is that the upcoming snow event will dramatically pale in comparison to that blizzard.

An inch or two of accumulation is generally expected along the snow's path Monday night through Wednesday morning. Denver will be on the lower end of that range with a coating to an inch in the forecast.

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However, amounts will top two inches in the northern Colorado mountains and the Black Hills.

There will also be a narrow zone of 3-6 inches of snow from north-central Nebraska to far western Michigan. The zone includes Sioux Falls and Minneapolis.

However, as of early Tuesday evening, three inches of snow fell just two miles north of Sioux Falls, S.D., according to the NWS.

A little later Tuesday evening, rain became snow in Minneapolis and areas outside the city accumulated 4.2 inches of snow, according to an NWS observer.

Since persistent cold has been lacking across the region recently, the heaviest snow totals will occur on grassy and elevated surfaces.

That is not to say that those planning to travel on Interstates 25, 29, 35, 76, 80, 90 and 94 should let their guard down. There can still be some accumulation on roads and slick travel, especially where the snow falls during the night and where it comes down heavily during the day.

Airline travelers should also prepare for possible flight delays.

South of the snow, rain will spread across the rest of the Plains, western Gulf Coast, lower Mississippi Valley and Midwest Tuesday and Wednesday. Some of the rain will be heavy, but a repeat of the widespread damaging winds across the Midwest is not expected.

The storm will be rainmaker across the East late in the week. However, AccuWeather.com meteorologists concerned for strong wind gusts to accompany the rain across the St. Lawrence Valley and New England.

Content contributed by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Meghan Evans.


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