A large storm system will slide from the Central U.S. into the East over the next couple of days, NWS warns. A zone of heavy snow is expected from the Mid Mississippi Valley into the Great Lakes, especially impacting parts of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. Frigid air will then usher in yet again, sending the midwestern United States into a deep freeze through the rest of the month.
A winter storm will continue to spread snow from the upper Midwest toward the Great Lakes today as the associated low pressure system intensifies and moves across these areas with up to 30 cm (1 foot) of accumulation possible, NWS forecaster Kong noted 08:00 UTC (03:00 EST), January 23.
Some mixed precipitation can also be expected near the track of the storm center today across lower Michigan. South of the storm track, rain is expected ahead of a strong cold front with some potential of heavy rain from the Mid-Atlantic southward to Florida through Thursday afternoon, January 24. Widespread rain totals of around 25 mm (1 inch) or more are forecast.
The central to eastern Gulf Coast region will have the best chance of seeing thunderstorms today, some of which could become severe as the strong cold front approaches.
Meanwhile, moisture associated with a rather energetic Pacific cyclone currently is bringing moderate to heavy rain across the Pacific Northwest coast.
The strong upper-level flow will continue to carry the moisture further inland across the Intermountain region in the form of snow. The snow will then move into the northern Rockies tonight and early Thursday just as the next surge of arctic air from central Canada arrives.
A clipper type low pressure system developing along an arctic front could bring a period of snow squalls across the upper Midwest later tonight into Thursday morning.
Frigid air will then usher into the Plains behind this clipper as an arctic high pressure system plunges southward through the Plains. The clipper and the arctic front will then reach the lower Great Lakes and the Appalachians Friday morning respectively with a period of snow and falling temperatures.
The Midwest/Upper Mississippi Valley into western Great Lakes region continues to be the most likely area for coldest temperature anomalies with readings 8 - 14 °C (15 - 25 °F) below normal most likely on Saturday, January 26 and then over a larger area extending south/southeast with another cold surge Tuesday to Wednesday.
The High Plains should see a brief period of well above normal temperatures 5 - 14 °C (10 -25 °F) especially on Sunday, January 27 before colder air drops southward and brings temperatures to 3 - 8 °C (5 - 15 °F) below normal over the Rockies/High Plains.
AccuWeather meteorologists are monitoring the potential for a more significant and widespread snow event late this weekend and early next week, meteorologist Renee Duff reports. While temperatures are forecast to rebound slightly but remain below normal ahead of this storm, a reinforcing wave of bitter cold will plunge southward in its wake early next week.
"This will be a longer-duration cold blast," said AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok. The air with this wave may be even more frigid that what is poised to arrive late this week.
People spending any length of time outdoors will need to make sure they are properly dressed for such frigid conditions. Make sure you know the warning signs of cold-related injuries, such as frostbite and hypothermia. Ensure pets are not kept outside too long and have proper shelter and warmth. Motorists should check vehicle fluids and tire pressure before heading out. Be sure to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle in case an emergency leaves you stranded in the cold for a time.
Featured image credit: NWS