Western Storm to Spread Snow to the Plains This Weekend

December 2, 2011; 1:15 PM ET
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A storm that brought hurricane-force winds to the Southwest will spread snow through parts of the Plains this weekend.

The same storm dropped more than a foot of snow over the Colorado Rockies, and is still bringing snow to many other high spots in the Southwest.

This storm will ease its grip on the Southwest Friday as it tracks toward the Plains later Friday night and Saturday. As this occurs, the feature will begin to interact with a southerly flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

A zone of accumulating snow will then set up from the central Rockies through western Kansas, southeastern Nebraska and parts of Iowa by the daytime hours Saturday.

South of this snow area, rain and thunderstorms will be a welcome sight across parts of the southern Plains.

Snow could fall heavily at times Saturday from Dodge City, Kan. through Omaha and Lincoln, Neb. Mixed rain, ice and snow will affect a very narrow band of cities from the Texas Panhandle to Salina, Kan.

Accumulations of snow will be on the order of 1-3 inches from the Southwest mountains through northeastern Iowa with a narrow zone of 3-6 inches expected from Concordia, Kan. through Omaha, Neb. Some light snow could even accumulate Saturday night a bit farther north over central Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The highest snow accumulations will be found over northern New Mexico, southern Colorado and areas just to the east, possibly more than 10 inches.

Interstate 70 through north-central Kansas, I-29 along the Nebraska and Iowa border along with I-80 in Nebraska and Iowa will be just a few of the roadways impacted by this upcoming snowfall.

Travel will become tricky during the day Saturday as the snow accumulates. At first, major thoroughfares will likely be slushy as they are typically treated throughout a storm. Secondary roadways will become snow-covered and hazardous throughout the duration of the storm.

The problem with the interstates and major highways will come Saturday night once the snow ends and a northerly flow of air sends below-normal chill into the central and northern Plains.

Temperatures Saturday night will fall into the teens and single digits across this region which could lead to a rapid freezeup on the roads.

More details about the upcoming snow and potential for hazardous travel Saturday and Saturday night will be clarified in the next day or so.

Keep checking back with AccuWeather.com on this potentially dangerous setup for the central Plains.


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