Wind-Driven Snow to Bury Central Rockies, Midwest

AccuWeather – by Michael Doll

A storm may evolve into an all-out blizzard, unleashing snow, high winds and reducing visibility across the northern tier of the U.S.

Treacherous travel conditions and dangerous cold are expected across the Rockies, northern Plains and Upper Midwest through midweek.  

The worst of the storm is likely on Wednesday from eastern North Dakota to northern Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin, part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and neighboring Canada. The worst of the cold following the storm will also focus over this area.

@NWS_Central_US tweeted: “Winter Storm to impact the Rockies, Plains and Midwest through December 4th #snow #travel #wrn #nws #wx #noaa #cold”



Some locations in the northern Rockies have already received more than 15 inches of snow since Sunday, and up to 6 or 12 inches of additional snow is expected through Wednesday.

Travel along I-90 from northern Idaho to western Montana, along with I-15 through the northern Rockies can be hazardous due to light snow and blowing snow.

The Department of Transportation marked portions of I-90 and I-80 in Wyoming as slick, with blowing and drifting snow Tuesday morning. A few sections of the roadways were closed.

Snow fell across much of I-80 from Nevada to northern Utah as well Tuesday into Tuesday night. Accumulating snow was targeting Reno, Nev., and Salt Lake City.

Winds through some of the passes can gust above 30 mph at times, creating blowing and drifting snow.

Northern Plains, Upper Midwest

Snowfall amounts of 6 to 22 inches fell in parts of northern Minnesota, including the Duluth, Minn., area on Monday into Monday night, and another 6 to 12 inches may accumulate through Wednesday from northern Minnesota to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

By the time the storm exits on Wednesday, storm totals range from 1 to 3 feet over a large part of the Upper Midwest..


Wind-driven snow could shut down travel for a time along portions of I-94, I-29 and I-35 and affect the daily routines of hundreds of thousands of people in the region including Minot,Fargo and Grand Forks in North Dakota and Duluth and International Falls, Minn.

Air travel delays are likely as well throughout the Northern states.

Minneapolis picked up around half an inch on Monday, and around 3 inches of snow may fall through Wednesday.

The snow combined with plunging temperatures can make for very slippery travel.

Wind gusts of 25 to 40 mph will create blowing, drifting and poor visibility, making driving extremely difficult over part of the North Central states. White-out conditions are a possibility.

AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures will become dangerously low during and after the storm, plummeting to between 30 to 40 below zero on Wednesday night through Thursday night.



Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed content to this story.

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