Share this article:
Cold air plunging into the north-central United States could bring the first snowflakes of the season to some communities at week's end.
People across the region may be breaking out winter attire and turning on the heaters for the first time this year.
A direct discharge of Arctic air will sweep through the Canadian Prairies and into the far northern Plains into the weekend, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
The cold sweep reached the northern Plains on Thursday and is forecast to plunge across the Great Lakes and a portion of the central Plains into Friday.
Compared to earlier this week, temperatures will be slashed by up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit across much of Montana, the Dakotas and northern Minnesota, with highs projected to stay in the 40s and lower 50s.
“There will likely be areas of frost and freezing temperatures from Montana through North Dakota into northern Minnesota on Friday night,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston.
The cold air will lose some of its punch by the time it reaches the Great Lakes and central Plains on Friday. Still, people from Chicago to Denver can expect a noticeable downturn in temperatures and may be grabbing an extra layer or two before heading out the door.
A chilly rain will mark the leading edge of cold air from northern Montana to the Midwest into Friday, according to Boston.
This includes in Billings, Montana; Rapid City, South Dakota; Omaha, Nebraska; and Des Moines, Iowa.
The most vivid and underappreciated US regions for fall foliage
How to drive on wet leaves
5 meteor showers that will sparkle in the night sky this fall
Why it’s important to protect your cherished, irreplaceable photos before a natural disaster happens
Where is West Nile virus most common across the US this year?
“Some locations could mix with or change to wet snow,” Boston said, adding that this risk would be greatest from Montana to the Dakotas.
Spotty rain and snow showers may also skirt through northern Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at week’s end.
Outside of the highest peaks in Montana, most of the region has yet to experience their first snowflakes of the season.
The good news for those who mind the chill is that the cooldown will be rather brief for most of the region.
Temperatures are expected to rebound by the end of the weekend across southern portions of the region. However, areas close to the Canadian border will likely remain on the unseasonably cool side into early next week.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
With the knowledge that natural disasters can happen at any time, would your city be prepared to evacuate thousands, or even millions, of people?
The first taste of winter will be felt across the United Kingdom from Friday into this weekend.
A storm is forecast to track close enough to the Atlantic coast to disrupt travel in the northeastern United States due to drenching rain, snow and gusty winds during this weekend.
With the pivotal midterm elections several weeks away, hurricanes Michael and Florence have been major obstacles to the administrative procedures for the election in the hardest-hit locations in the Carolinas and Florida.
Hurricanes Florence and Michael ravaged through the southeastern United States earlier this year, raising concerns among leaf peepers whether these storms would hurt autumn colors. However, projections for a vibrant fall color season still remain bright.
Typhoon Yutu will bring risks ranging from flooding and damaging winds to dangerous seas to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Hurricane Willa remains a dangerous major hurricane on Tuesday and will make landfall along the Mexico coastline by Tuesday night.
Despite already having received drought-busting rainfall in excess earlier this month, a large swath of the southern United States is poised to receive another round of potentially dangerous wet weather.