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Snow, severe storms to threaten central US to start March

By By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist.
February 28, 2016, 3:00:56 AM EST

A storm is expected to form, strengthen and bring a wide range of disruptive and potentially dangerous weather to the central United States to start March.

The impacts will include the potential for a major snowstorm, perhaps blizzard conditions and soaking rain as well as another round of severe weather.

How strong the storm gets will determine whether blizzard conditions develop over parts of the Plains and Upper Midwest during the middle of next week.

Definition of a blizzard


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"The track of the storm will determine where the dividing line between rain and snow sets up," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams. "There is no way to say precisely where that will be this far out."

The zone from Kansas City, Missouri, to Chicago and Detroit could be near the boundary where snow, sleet and rain are possible. However, a more southward track of the storm would cause this corridor to instead center from Wichita, Kansas, to Cincinnati.


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The storm will travel in such a way as to pull a significant amount of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, which will be squeezed out farther north, where the air is colder, in the form of disruptive snow.

The storm track will also determine the northern and western extent of snow in the colder air.

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As an example, during the snowstorm on Wednesday around Chicago, a distance of less than 35 miles resulted in the difference between wet roads and non-accumulating snow to more than a foot of accumulation and snowcovered roads.

"The storm is likely to deposit some snow on Colorado, including the Denver area, before swinging out onto the Plains," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.


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While there are uncertainties with the amount of rain and snow and the dividing line thereof, there is likely to be severe weather spawned by the storm in portions of the South Central states.

The last two storms to affect the South and Atlantic coast have produced severe weather. The most recent storm caused a number of injuries and fatalities.

Regardless of whether the storm track shifts northward or drifts eastward, there will also be the potential for rain and thunderstorms reaching parts of the Eastern states during the middle of next week.

AccuWeather will continue to provide updates on the storm in the coming days as more details become clear.

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