Snow, ice to unleash treacherous travel over north-central US through Thursday

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
February 07, 2019, 2:17:14 PM EST

Snow, ice and gusty winds will create areas of treacherous travel across the north-central United States into late week.

Following one wave of winter weather finishing from Tuesday night, a larger and more potent dose of wintry precipitation is in store prior to Friday.

Commuters around the Detroit metro area faced icy conditions on Wednesday morning from freezing rain. Snow fell along the northern periphery of the ice from Minnesota into northern Michigan, where Minneapolis received 4 inches of snow.


(Photo/Minnesota State Patrol)

On Wednesday night, freezing rain coated roads throughout New England.

An expansive swath of snow will accompany this next round through Thursday.

static snowfall 3am 2/7

“Where the heaviest snow falls across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest, several inches to a foot of snow are forecast,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Faith Eherts.

There can be an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 16 inches.

The steadiest snow on Thursday can set up from Minnesota through Wisconsin and into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This corridor includes stretches of interstates 29, 35, 80, 90 and 94.

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“Along with increasingly heavy snowfall, winds will contribute to deteriorating travel conditions as blowing and drifting snow obscures roadways and limits visibility,” Eherts said.

NC Thursday Plain Lang

Even in the absence of snow, gusty winds across the nation’s midsection can lead to travel difficulties on the roadways, especially for high-profile vehicles.

Freezing rain and sleet will occur on the southern edge of the snow, making travel particularly hazardous, according to Eherts.

The zone of icy mix will set up a bit farther north in Illinois, Wisconsin and southwestern Michigan when compared to Tuesday and Tuesday night.

Central Ice 3 pm

The worst of the ice and slick travel is expected to set up to the north of Chicago, but once again target Kansas City, Omaha and Des Moines.

Overnight on Wednesday, slick road conditions led to widespread instances of spin outs and car accidents across eastern Kansas.

It will be a close call around Detroit with some icy spots likely just north and west of the city on Thursday morning.

Residents in Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Traverse City, Michigan; can wake up to a slippery coating of ice on Thursday morning.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see exactly when snow and/or ice will arrive in your area.

Travel should be avoided during the worst of the icy conditions, Eherts warned.

“If you must head out, extra time should be allowed in case of hazardous road conditions,” she added.

Flooding rainfall and locally strong thunderstorms will threaten areas to the south of the snow and ice during Wednesday and Thursday.

A frigid and blustery end to the week is in store across the North Central states as the storm departs.

Late week outlook 2.5 AM

While temperatures will not dip quite as low as they did during the polar invasion last week, precautions will once again need to be taken by anyone venturing outdoors to lessen the risk of frostbite or hypothermia.

Highs will be held below zero degrees Fahrenheit in the northern Plains and in the single digits and teens across the upper Mississippi Valley, with even lower AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures.

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