Latest watch and warning areas associated with Central U.S. major storm
Fig. 1: National Weather Service weather warnings in effect this morning.
Discussion: The North-central U.S. Blizzard lasts into tomorrow with blowing snow to continue into late tomorrow night. Wind forecasts for the heavy snow zone are in the 15-30 mph sustained range with gusts to 50 mph indicating outdoor conditions are completely intolerable due to almost no visibility. The high wind across the Corn Belt is for an east wind gusting to 40-50 mph today while farther south the wind direction is southwest across the Missouri Valley. The Blizzard Warning extends to almost Minneapolis while winter storm warnings are posted for the remainder of Minnesota into northern Wisconsin. Elsewhere flooding is increasing in the Northwest U.S. now adding the Upper Snake River Basin.
Historic April snowfall piles to near 30 in. in some areas
Fig. 2: GFS OP snowfall amount forecast.
Discussion: Likely the most intense late season snowstorm on record…over 2 feet of snow is forecast over eastern South Dakota to southwest Minnesota for the long duration storm not easing until later tomorrow. Heavy snowfall extends from Nebraska to the Upper Midwest.
The Associated Cold Lasts to Weekend; MON/TUE snowmelt
Within the snow zone temperatures are near or below 32F with 20’s/10’s across the far west/northwest Great Plains today and tonight. Some recovery to near 40F is forecast for later tomorrow afternoon in southeast Nebraska to southern Iowa but these areas are mostly south of the snow cover. By Saturday morning the 32F line extends from Madison, WI to Dodge City, KS and dips farther south Sunday morning to northwest Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. Low temperatures are in the teens over much of the North-central U.S. next Sunday morning as deep snow propels the intensity of the lingering cold. Next Monday and Tuesday afternoon temperatures will reach the 40’s and 50’s across the snow cover causing rapid melting.
Today and Saturday severe weather outbreaks.
Fig. 3-4: NOAA/SPC severe weather outlook for today and Saturday.
Discussion: Severe thunderstorms erupt ahead of the intense Midwest U.S. storm today across Illinois where damaging wind gusts associated with most intense storms are likely. Severe weather risk is marginal in northern Texas and the eastern Ohio Valley Friday. However, a new area of severe weather erupts in the Mid-South U.S. Saturday featuring a tornado outbreak risk for northeast Texas, Louisiana and into western Mississippi. Severe weather will shift across the Southeast U.S. on Sunday with more tornadoes possible.
Heavy rainfall for the weekend Mid-South to Northeast U.S.
Fig. 5-6: NOAA/WPC rainfall forecast for Saturday (left) and SUN/MON (right).
Discussion: Excessive rainfall associated with a severe weather outbreak is forecast for Saturday in the Mid-South U.S. causing flooding. Additional widespread flooding is possible Interior Northeast late weekend/early next week due to heavy rain and melting snow cover.