Winter storm to spread snow, ice and rain across central and eastern US

By By Brett Rathbun, Meteorologist
January 07, 2016, 12:04:30 AM EST

A storm will spread a round of snow, ice and rain from the Plains to the Great Lakes later this week. The storm will reach the Northeast this weekend.

According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "One of the storms hitting California this week will spread a few inches of snow to part of the north-central United States with a bit of rain over flooded areas farther to the south to end the week."


"After a short period of quiet weather early this week, another storm will move into the Plains at midweek and then continue eastward to the Great Lakes into Friday," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Matt Rinde said.

Precipitation will break out prior to this event across the central U.S. and could lead to slippery travel along Interstate 35 from Minneapolis to Kansas City during Wednesday and Wednesday night as snow and ice may develop.


The main storm later this week will be much weaker than the storm during the weekend after Christmas. Because of this, any widespread areas of blizzard conditions, severe weather and flooding are not expected.

The late-week storm will bring another round of rain across the Missouri Valley and the lower Mississippi Valley and could hinder cleanup efforts that have commenced from the deadly flood during the end of 2015.

However, the rainfall will not be enough to cause new rises on the area's large streams and rivers.

Snow to blanket Upper Midwest

With plenty of cold air in place, snow will fall along a strip from the central Plains into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

"Snow will spread northward from Nebraska into South Dakota, Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan," Rinde said.


Some cities expecting accumulating snow include Norfolk, Nebraska; Fort Dodge and Sioux City, Iowa, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Minneapolis; Eau Claire and Wausau, Wisconsin; and Marquette, Michigan.

"Snow amounts of up to 6 inches are possible in some places with locally higher amounts," Rinde said. This will be enough to cause delays on the roads and for airline passengers.

"Motorists might want to allow for a few extra minutes when driving in the snow as it can reduce travel speeds and bring an increased risk of accidents," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada said.

Snow showers will linger across the Upper Midwest and upper Great Lakes during the first half of the weekend.

Icy travel to coat areas from Nebraska and Kansas to Michigan

Enough cold air will be in place for precipitation to start out as snow or a wintry mix from the central Plains into central lower Michigan. This includes the cities of North Platte and Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa; Chicago; Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin; and Grand Rapids and Saginaw, Michigan.

While any ice accumulation is not expected to be extreme enough to cause any widespread tree damage or power outages, enough will fall to cause roadways and bridges to be slippery.

As milder air builds across this region during the event, most areas will change over to rain or a mix of rain and snow.

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Chicago is expected to change over to rain during Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Rain to dampen travel from Ohio Valley to the Mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast

Temperatures will remain above freezing during the event for rain to fall from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf Coast states.

Rain will focus on the Missouri and lower Mississippi valleys during Thursday into Thursday night before moving into the Ohio Valley Thursday night and mid-Atlantic states later on Friday.

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Rain amounts will generally be on the order of an inch or less, but localized areas could receive higher amounts.

Precipitation will be in the form of rain from Detroit to Indianapolis, St. Louis, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, New York City and Washington, D.C.

The system could produce locally heavy thunderstorms along the Gulf coast.

This storm will then track into New England during Saturday with rain in the south, but snow and/or a wintry mix in the north.

Much colder air will empty into the central and eastern states next week.

The cold air could be preceded by a couple of storms with wintry precipitation.

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