North Central US to face disruptive snow, ice early this week
By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 19, 2018, 9:41:48 AM EST
While snow continues to create slick travel from the Rockies to the Upper Midwest, ice may put some other residents of the North Central states in the dark early this week.
While May-like warmth builds across the East, the storm track will allow more snow to sweep from the Rockies to the Upper Midwest into Tuesday.
The next wave of snow will sweep from Nebraska and South Dakota to northern Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan into Tuesday after making roads slippery around Salt Lake City, Utah, and Denver.
Disruptions to travel and daily routines are not expected to lessen as the snow streaks across the Upper Midwest.
“Air and ground travel in places like Minneapolis could be impacted,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
A period of freezing drizzle and/or snow cannot be ruled out in the city into Tuesday.
Snow and travel disruptions may also return to Duluth and St. Cloud, Minnesota; Fargo, North Dakota; Aberdeen and Rapid City, South Dakota; and Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
Totals east of I-29 can range from 3 to 6 inches but can reach or exceed a foot to the west.
Where schools are closed on Monday for Presidents Day, cancellations or delays may follow for Tuesday.
Motorists should prepare for slow and difficult travel on interstates 29, 35, 90 and 94.
“Farther east, a wintry mix of snow and sleet and freezing rain could make for messy travel across northern Wisconsin, including Green Bay, into Tuesday,” Pydynowski said.
These icy conditions are also expected to glaze the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan and stretch back to Iowa, eastern Nebraska and northeastern Kansas into Monday night.
“Any ice will make roads and sidewalks extremely slippery, but there is concern for enough ice build up for isolated power outages from Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Des Moines, Iowa, to Manhattan, Kansas,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis said. Weak tree branches may also succumb to the weight of the ice.
The ice will separate the snow from the rain threatening to cause flooding from the southern Plains to the lower Great Lakes early this week.
As colder air catches up with the back edge of the rain, ice may expand to more of the central U.S. Tuesday into Wednesday.
There is a chance for the rain to end as some ice from around Detroit to Chicago to St. Louis, especially the northern suburbs, to Kansas City, Missouri, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Due to the springlike warmth preceding this winter storm, bridges, overpasses and other elevated surfaces would be the first to turn icy as temperatures drop.
Even where the rain ends before temperatures drop below freezing, any standing water can eventually turn to ice as the colder air rushes in.
The arctic cold plunging back into the North Central states will hold highs to the single digits and teens across the northern Plains early this week.
After cracking the 40-degree mark on Sunday, highs in the lower 20s are expected in Minneapolis into Wednesday.
Another storm may sweep back northward later in the week and return more snow to the Upper Midwest.