Strong Winter Storm Targets Northern Plains and Upper Midwest

By: Shaun Tanner , 7:10 AM GMT on February 28, 2012

One look at Weather Underground's Severe Weather Map shows where the active weather will be happening on Tuesday. While various Winter Weather Advisories will be affect in parts of the West, hardest hit area of the country will be the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. An intense storm will race out of the Rocky Mountains and through Nebraska before moving into the Dakotas where it will join significantly cold air. This is a common track for Winter storm as they often increase in strength as they move into the Plains of Colorado and New Mexico.

Various Winter advisories and warnings, including Blizzard Warnings, Winter Storm Warnings, and Winter Weather Advisories are posted from eastern Wyoming through Wisconsin and western Michigan in preparation of this storm. The first to get hit will be the western Plains and Rocky Mountains Tuesday morning and afternoon. Upwards of 2 feet of new snow is possible in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado from this initial period of the storm. By late Tuesday and into Wednesday, snow will begin coming down in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Another two feet of snow is possible in the hardest hit areas of Minnesota and North Dakota, but most areas will receive much less than that.

The secondary effect of this storm wil be the strong winds it will produce. Wind gusts greater than 30 mph will whip the newly-fallen snow into a blizzard in some places, greatly lowering visibility and creating hazardous conditions.

This is a bit out of the norm for this Winter. Much of the Winter has been dominate by fairly weak storms will little jet stream support, void of cold Arctic air, and missing any sub-tropical moisture. This storm, at least, will provide a good portion of the country will significant snow.

In my humble and expert opinion, the best way to track this storm is through WunderMap. This tool lets you track the storm using any number of tools including weather stations, radar, and satellite.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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1. bostonandrew
12:43 AM GMT on April 04, 2012
Ok, guess I could use some education. Something I see quite often, shows on the above fronts map--being a "civilian", I expect to usually see a correlation between the "fronts" and the weather, so I wonder about the heavy precipitation in CO, which seems just to be extending into the H to the north. I also see heavy precipitation NE and E of the eastern L in Texas. There is also a band of showers in northern NY that I could imagine should connect to a front in Canada. I vaguely understand that there are different activities at diffeerent levels of the atmosphere. Seems like the TV weathermaps never showed this stuff, but then I haven't watched TV weather for 10-15 years. Thanks WU.
Andrew (NE MA USA)
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Shaun Tanner has been a meteorologist at Weather Underground since 2004.

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