Clipper storm to deliver stripe of heavy snow from Minnesota to Illinois, West Virginia

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 24, 2018, 4:00:41 PM EDT

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An Alberta clipper storm will spread a swath of heavy snow and travel disruptions in a narrow band from central North Dakota to Ohio through Saturday.

The fast-moving storm, originating from western Canada, will move along the boundary separating cold air to the northeast and warm air to the southwest. Snow, rain and a wintry mix will occur along the storm's path.

In the north-central United States, the snow will fall along a 1,100-mile-long zone from the Canada border to the Ohio Valley. However, in part of the Ohio Valley states, the area of accumulating snow may only be 100 miles wide.

I-35 snow March 24 Iowa

Snow covers Interstate-35 near Cedar Lake in northern Iowa on Saturday morning, March 24, 2018. (Image/Iowa Department of Transportation)

The snow will spread southeastward over this swath into Saturday and may linger into Saturday night in some areas.

Snowfall rates may exceed 1-2 inches per hour from southwest Minnesota to eastern Iowa on Saturday.

The snow will cross portions of interstates 64, 70 and 80.

Because of the time of the year, the effect of the March sun can cause the snow to be wet and clinging in nature.

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While some of the snow may melt as it falls on warm road surfaces, this will not be the case on trees and power lines. Sporadic power outages may occur.

Airline delays due to deicing operations and poor visibility are likely at the airports along the path of the storm.

Cities that are forecast to receive enough snow to create slippery travel and possibly enough snow to shovel and plow include Dubuque and Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Peoria, Illinois; Indianapolis; and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Midwest snow March 24 pm

A slight shift in the track by 50 to 100 miles may mean the difference between flurries, heavy snow and rain.

The snow is bypassing Chicago and Milwaukee.

The atmosphere will be too warm for snow in St. Louis and Louisville, Kentucky. Rain is in store for these locations. Wet snow may mix in with rain around Des Moines, Iowa, with heavy snow farther to the north and east.

Overview snow March 24 pm

Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh will dodge snow from this storm.

The storm and its snow, rain and wintry mix will continue to progress eastward into Saturday night.

South of the snow and wintry mix zone, a narrow swath of rain and locally heavy thunderstorms are forecast. Thunderstorms will affect parts of eastern Missouri to Tennessee and Kentucky on Saturday.

Areas from the southern Appalachians to Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina will be the last areas in the U.S. to receive precipitation from the storm before it heads out to sea.

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