Major storm continues to blast the Plains, Midwest with snow, high winds this weekend
Blizzard conditions are possible this weekend in the north-central US as a major snowstorm hits the region.
A large and powerful winterlike storm will continue to blast the Plains and Midwest with areas of heavy snow and high winds as well as an ice buildup and some rain showers through Sunday.
As many travelers are now returning home after the holiday weekend, this storm will hamper attempts at a timely return.
Strong, gusty winds will extend over much of the Plains and spread east of the Mississippi River during Sunday afternoon and night.
Heavy snow will continue to plaster the upper Mississippi Valley and northern Great Lakes region into Sunday night. Strong winds will make for whiteout conditions at times.
The storm will unload a general 1-2 feet of snow from the northern Plains to the upper Great Lakes region with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 36 inches.
The Duluth, Minnesota, area has received 16-20 inches of snow as of 6 a.m. CST, Sunday from the storm, while heavy snow continued. Meanwhile, Fargo, North Dakota, was near the back edge of the accumulating snow around daybreak Sunday with 9.3 inches of snow reported.
Even in the wake of the accumulating snow, high winds will cause snow to blow around and create periodic ground blizzards over the northern and central Plains.
Friday night, a nearly 300-mile stretch of the highway between the Wyoming border and Chamberlain, South Dakota, closed down because of the storm.
As of early Sunday morning, many reporting stations around the Black Hills have observed 12-24 inches of snow. The city of Lead, South Dakota has reported 30 inches of snow with snow drifts exceeding 5 feet in some areas.
Along with the snow, wind gusts over 40 mph were common.
Where temperatures hover right around the freezing mark, some areas across the Midwest will have an icy mixture of precipitation.
Icy conditions will also extend into portions of mid-Michigan, where some locales may get enough ice to down tree limbs and cause scattered power outages.
In Midland County, Michigan, dispatch reported that multiple tree limbs and power lines were down as of daybreak Sunday.
While it will limit snowfall totals, the impacts may be just as severe.
Areas along and north of Interstate 90, this time in Minnesota and Wisconsin, can expect an icy mixture to snarl traffic into Sunday morning.
Marquette, Michigan, observed 16.4 inches of snow this past Wednesday. Another round of heavy snow will spread across Marquette and much of the Upper Peninsula on Sunday, with snow totals expected to exceed a foot in many places.
The .14 inches of precipitation that La Crosse Regional Airport received between 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. CST, pushed the yearly precipitation total to 43.01, making 2019 the fourth calendar year for the area to receive a yearly precipitation total over 43 inches. As of 4 p.m. CST, La Crosse, Wisconsin, was just 1.75 inches away from beating 2016 as the wettest year for the city.
As the storm system tracks into the Great Lakes for the latter half of the weekend, major beach erosion is expected once again for coastal communities.
With near-record high water levels, many homes and structures are in jeopardy of being damaged by wave action.
The storm will continue to track eastward from Sunday into Monday, expanding the threat for heavy snow, ice and gusty winds into the Northeast.
Snow showers are forecast to advance eastward across the Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes region as colder air sweeps in on strong winds into Sunday night.
Motorists should be on the lookout for rapidly changing weather conditions. The visibility may suddenly plummet and roads can transition from wet to slushy to snow-covered in a matter of minutes.
Most of the Plains and Midwest will be able to shovel their way out after this storm departs with quiet, dry and settled conditions expected into early next week.
Download the free AccuWeather app to check the forecast in your area. Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.Report a Typo