The rather sudden chilly flip in the weather pattern across the northern Plains and Midwest may have some people taking a look at the calendar to double check and make sure this is actually still October, because in some areas, it looks a lot more like December with all of the snowy weather. For those that aren’t quite ready for wintry conditions to settle in for good, you might not be a fan of the tricks that Old Man Winter will have up his sleeve over the coming week.
The extended stretch of cold weather across the northern Plains and Midwest is coming courtesy of a persistent dip in the jet stream over the region, allowing for chilly Canadian air to infiltrate south of the border. For some locales, the winterlike weather will hang around through a majority of the week.
Many cities from Montana to Michigan that have already experienced their first bouts of wintry weather can expect more of the same over the upcoming week as atmospheric disturbances hitch a ride along the fast-moving jet stream winds in place.
In the wake of snowy conditions across the northern Plains and Midwest Saturday and Saturday night, a brief reprieve from the snowy conditions are expected across a majority of the Midwest to end the weekend. Although it will be dry in places like Aberdeen and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Fargo, North Dakota and even the Twin Cities, temperatures will remain some 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit below average.
Farther west, Old Man Winter will target places like Great Falls, Billings and a majority of Montana, as a storm system slides through Sunday and Monday. The persistent rounds of snowfall through Monday across portions of Montana could tally up at least a few inches, with higher totals expected across the mountainous areas.
By Tuesday, the disturbance responsible for the snowy weather across Montana and the High Plains will slide eastward, spreading the threat for wintry weather across the Midwest once again. With the cold air still locked in place, it is possible that the snowy weather could stretch farther south than previous storms this fall, allowing for more locales to experience their first snowflakes of the season.
Portions of the Dakotas could wake up to a fresh coating, even perhaps a couple of inches of snow in some locales by dawn on Tuesday, potentially creating travel hazards for the morning commute along Interstate 94 in North Dakota.
Progressing through the daytime hours, these hazards will likely shift eastward as the storm system tracks into the Midwest.
With chilly air in place prior to the beginning of the event on Tuesday across the Upper Midwest, it is quite possible that an uptick in traffic hazards and accidents occur as residents and travelers adjust to driving in wintry conditions. Slick, and possibly snow-covered roads will be possible across portions of Interstates 29 and 94 and all other surrounding roadways across the Upper Midwest on Tuesday as the storm treks through.
It’s even possible that some of these hazards extend southward to the Interstate-90 corridor across southern Minnesota and South Dakota as well.
The Twin Cities have already observed their first flakes of the year, however, they have yet to have their first inch-or-greater snowfall event of the season. While this does not typically occur until mid-November, it is possible that this could occur on Tuesday if enough cold air is in place, allowing for a majority of the precipitation to fall in the form of snow.
While this storm is not expected to be a blockbuster by any means across the Midwest on Tuesday, this early season storm system can yield a unique set of hazards across the region. While many locales across the Upper Midwest are now past peak in terms of fall foliage, there are still a good deal of trees holding onto their leaves. The wintry weather expected on Tuesday will likely produce large, wet snowflakes which could act to weigh down tree branches, potentially snapping any weaker limbs. If this were to occur, localized power outages could become a concern.
The storm won’t hang around long across the Midwest, as a majority of the snowfall will clear out of the region Tuesday night. Unfortunately for those who do not want wintry weather to stick around, yet another, potentially more impactful storm system may be coming down the pipeline into the latter half of the week across some of the same areas.
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