A major winter storm system is tracking across the Western US today. This will be bringing everything from snow and high winds to the Mountain West to freezing rain and accumulating ice to the Upper Midwest.
The situation this morning:
Heavy snow has been extending from Montana down to Colorado. Even a few flurries linger in New Mexico and Arizona as the jet stream dips all the way down into the desert southwest. Across the Eastern US, its warm! A strong flow from the south will drive up temperatures around the Great Lakes to near 60 degrees. That will put some records in jeopardy.
Snow falling this morning in Jackson Hole, WY. Highs today only in the low teens with overnight lows in the single digits.
Winter storm warning effect from Northern Minnesota down to Utah. Many of these areas could see over a foot (especially in the high elevations) before this system exits the region. Snow moves out of the mountains this afternoon and into the northern plains tonight.
Some impressive mountain wind gusts from Colorado including a 99mph wind gust from Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan mountains of southwest Colorado. High Wind Warnings stretch from Kansas to New Mexico.
With milder weather still in place ahead of these system, precipitation is coming in the form of rain rather than snow in the Upper Midwest. The concerns arise due to the ground temperature. With that ground temperature still remaining below freezing, as the liquid precipitation comes in to contact with the colder ground, it freezes. That means icy roadways and even accumulating ice.
From the National Weather Service in Duluth:
DRIZZLE AND FREEZING DRIZZLE IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE ACROSS THE AREA THIS MORNING. CONDITIONS SHOULD SLOWLY IMPROVE TOWARD MIDDAY. SNOW WILL THEN BEGIN ACROSS THE AREA THIS EVENING AND CONTINUE INTO SATURDAY. * SNOW/ICE ACCUMULATIONS…ADDITIONAL ICE ACCUMULATIONS ARE NOT EXPECTED TO BE SIGNIFICANT. TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF ONE QUARTER INCH CAN BE EXPECTED FROM THIS STORM. SNOW WILL DEVELOP THIS EVENING…WITH TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 3 TO 7 INCHES.
A mild and moist air mass will envelop much of the Eastern US with temperatures running well above average.
A couple chances for rain through this upcoming week for portions of the south. Potential 5 day rainfall totals: