Sunday, April 30, 2017

April to End With Rockies, High Plains Snow; Upper Midwest Says, "Same," for May Day

Jon Erdman
Published: April 28,2017

Never mind April is wrapping up. Yet more snow is blanketing the Rockies, and will spread into parts of the Plains and Upper Midwest this weekend and early next week.
(MORE: Winter Storm Central)
Winter storm watches and warnings have been posted in the Rockies and High Plains from southern Montana to northeast New Mexico and parts of the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles. This includes the foothills west of Denver and the Palmer Divide south of the Mile High City.

Current Winter Alerts
Already, snow, heavy in spots, is blanketing much of Wyoming, and rain has changed to wet snow in the western Nebraska panhandle.
(INTERACTIVE: Your Current Radar)

Current Radar, Temperatures, Conditions
From Wednesday through Thursday night, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has measured 21 to 23 inches of snow. Early Friday, up to 2-foot drifts of snow were reported in some areas of Rawlins, Wyoming.

Rockies Forecast

The culprit for this is a sharpening southward plunge of the polar jet stream, carving itself out over the Great Basin and Rockies, then getting kicked into the Plains and upper Midwest this weekend.
By late Friday, a changeover to snow should occur as colder air spills south into the Front Range and eastern Plains of Colorado, western Kansas and northeast New Mexico.

Friday Night's Forecast
Saturday, snow, heavy in spots, will continue in the High Plains of Colorado, far western Kansas and northeast New Mexico. At least some snow is also expected to spread into parts of the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles by Saturday night.

Saturday's Forecast
At least some wet snow is likely to persist from western Kansas into the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles early Sunday.
The heaviest snow totals through Sunday will likely be in the higher elevations of far southern Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. At least 6 inches of wet snow are also possible in parts of the adjacent Plains of Wyoming, western Nebraska, eastern Colorado, far western Kansas, northeast New Mexico and parts of the Oklahoma and far north Texas panhandles.
(MORE: Where April is Typically the Snowiest Month)

Snowfall Forecast Through Sunday
The city of Denver should manage several slushy inches of accumulation, particularly on grassy areas, with less accumulation on roads. The foothills and Palmer Divide will likely see heavier accumulations.
Travel along parts of Interstate 25 in Wyoming, from south of Denver to north of Colorado Springs, and south of Walsenburg, Colorado, to Raton Pass, may become difficult. Interstate 90 in northern Wyoming, a stretch of which was shut down earlier in the week, may also become impassable or may close.
Strong north winds, combined with accumulating wet snow, may lead to some downed trees, tree limbs and power outages in areas of heaviest accumulation.
Incidentally, this could be the fourth-latest measurable snowfall on record in Amarillo, Texas, in 86 years of snowfall records, there.

Upper Midwest Phase Late Sunday Into Monday

There's another phase to this system in the Upper Midwest beginning later this weekend.
With low pressure scooting north toward the Great Lakes and intensifying by Sunday, the air will likely become just cold enough on the low's western flank for a swath of wet snow in parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest Sunday into Monday – yes, that would be May 1.
(FORECAST: 7-Day U.S. Rain/Snow Maps)

Upper Midwest Snow Setup
This system should wring out accumulating snow from Nebraska, into eastern South Dakota, western and northern Minnesota. We can't rule out parts of that swath seeing heavy snow accumulations from later Sunday into Monday.
(FORECAST: Sioux Falls, South Dakota | Twin Cities | Duluth, Minnesota)

Upper Midwest Snow Outlook
In addition, strong winds with the intensifying low, combined with accumulating wet snow, may lead to some tree, power line damage and outages in this area.
(INTERACTIVE: When the Last Snow of Spring Typically Falls Where You Live)
Be sure to check back frequently for the latest updates on this upcoming snow event.
MORE: 50 States' Biggest Snow Days

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

No comments:

Post a Comment