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    Watching for a Major Storm Next Week

    By By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist
    October 22, 2010, 5:43:47 AM EDT

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    An increasingly unsettled weather pattern may yield a major storm next week over the central U.S. and neighboring Canada.

    If all the ingredients fall into place, that storm could transform over the Plains and Midwest into a monster with heavy rain, surging warmth and severe thunderstorms on its southeastern flank and howling winds, wicked cold and even a blizzard on its northwestern side.

    This storm has potential to affect millions of people in the U.S. and southern Canada ranging from travel disruptions to risks to lives and property.

    The details, timing and severity of this storm will unfold in the coming days. However, the first hint of the storm in question will hit the Northwest this weekend with windswept rain and blinding mountain snow.


    400x266_10201628_uswknd

    The storm over the Plains this weekend, though potent, is merely a front-runner of what could be a far worse storm next week. The "monster storm in question" will first impact the Northwest.

    After traversing the northern Rockies early next week, the storm could then "bomb out" over the middle of the U.S., sending barometric pressure plummeting and winds screaming by midweek.


    400x266_10201845_nextweek


    In the worst case scenario, this is the type of storm that can not only have huge impacts for several days on air and ground travel in the Midwest but may also bring dangerous conditions to the Great Lakes in terms of rough waters and problems for shipping.

    While impacts from the storm in this scenario would be less severe along the Atlantic Seaboard and the St. Lawrence Valley, compared to the Midwest and Canadian Prairies, a period of rain, gusty thunderstorms and strong winds could still be felt.

    Just how dramatic and disruptive this particular storm will be remains to be seen, but is certainly worth keeping an eye on for planning purposes or a safety standpoint.

    Even if this one fails to deliver, there are other storm systems cruising the maps as autumn progresses into winter.

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