Well, here we are. March 1st signifies the start of meteorological Spring, but all signs point to Winter across the Central Plains and Upper Midwest. Where birds should be chirping and flowers should be blooming, we are instead left with whiteout blizzard conditions and accumulating ice. Will we ever get to put away the snow shovels?
From Lake Superior all the way back to the Southern Rockies, winter storm conditions are creating a weekend travel mess. Some students in these areas are already on Spring Break, and could get hung up in the slush while trying to escape the cold.
To accompany the frozen mess, a slew of winter weather warnings and advisories that can sometimes be as difficult to navigate as an interstate covered in freezing rain. We break it down here by region (updated 10 AM CST):
The dark purple region in northeastern South Dakota represents an Ice Storm Warning, where ice is expected to accumulate throughout the day and make a mess of power lines, tree branches, and roadways. Did you know it only takes 0.25″ of ice to snap off tree limbs? Watch out where you park your car today…
Ice is expected to accumulate outside that dark purple region, but the amounts will be a bit smaller. There was already some early morning icing in the St. Cloud, MN area –thanks to our good Twitter friend (and Meteorologist/Producer) D.J. Kayser for this photo on his way to our studios this morning!
^Think you can top this ice photo today? Send in your superior shot to firstname.lastname@example.org!
The rest of the storm pans out as follows:
Gusty winds and fairly hefty snow totals combine to make travel near impossible through central Nebraska, northwestern Kansas, and northeastern Colorado. Visibilities will be cut to less than a half mile at times, so travel carefully if you must.
One of the other signs of spring is of course — Daylight Saving Time! Plan to “spring ahead” by one hour between Saturday night and Sunday morning, and hopefully SPRING into some warmer weather. This is also a good time to check batteries in smoke detectors and change light bulbs.
Don’t forget to help us tell the weather story by sending in photos or videos! We love being able to see weather from YOUR perspective.
Have a great weekend, and try to think warm thoughts! (Unless you’re already in Florida, in which case, we’re all jealous.) -Meteorologist Miranda Hilgers