Coastal Flood Advisory

Rockies, midwestern US to face return of snow late this week

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
December 20, 2017, 5:29:47 AM EST

Those getting a head start on holiday travel across the Rockies and Midwest late this week will be faced with disruptive snow along the way.

The weather will be a complicating factor for Christmas travelers across a portion of the Central states, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

There is the potential for enough snow to shovel and plow across Wyoming and Colorado and portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from late Wednesday through Thursday.

Snowfall could exceed 6 inches over the Rockies.

Denver; Casper, Wyoming; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota; and Green Bay, Wisconsin, are among the cities that could receive the late-week snow.

Central US Thu snow 12.20 AM

The snow will ride in on a wave of sharply colder air.

In some areas, snow will whiten the ground just a day after temperatures climb into the 50s and 60s F.

“Residents in Denver will go from enjoying highs near 60 F at midweek to turning up the heat and shoveling snow as temperatures plunge into the teens on Wednesday night and only recover into the 20s on Thursday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

Those with short- and long-term travel plans along stretches of interstates 25, 29, 35, 70, 80, 90 and 94 may need to allot extra time to reach their destination due to slick roads and reduced visibility.

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The snow and temperature may fall at a rapid enough pace for roads to turn slushy and snow covered in a short amount of time.

Roads could become treacherous from Colorado to Wisconsin and Michigan, according to Doll.

Gusty winds can create blowing and drifting snow across roadways and dangerously low visibility for motorists.

With additional waves of harsh cold expected to follow the wintry weather, any accumulating snow will likely stick around long enough to give some Midwestern residents a white Christmas.

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