Snowfall, Wind Chills and Storms Forecast for the Northern United States

Bryan Dijkhuizen

Weather conditions will be calm for the most part over the Lower 48 today, with just scattered showers and thunderstorms in parts of the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes, and northern New England.

At the same time, a powerful storm system moving southward out of southern Canada will bring severe weather conditions to the Northern Plains and, ultimately, the middle and lower Missouri Valley.

Snowfall Predicted for the North

In portions of North Dakota, conditions are forecast to swiftly worsen overnight, with snow predicted to move into eastern South Dakota and southwest Minnesota on Friday morning.

Snowfall totals of more than 4 inches are expected over most of the country, with accumulations of more than 8 inches probable from southeast North Dakota to central Iowa.

The related area of low pressure will move quickly and will reach the Central Plains by Friday night, bringing a swath of heavy snow to Iowa throughout the day on Friday and northern Missouri by Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

As the snow begins to accumulate on the roads in this area, driving conditions are expected to grow more difficult. Within heavy snow bands with accumulation rates of up to 1 inch per hour, as well as during times of strong winds, visibility will be significantly impaired.

Wind Gusts

Speaking of gusty winds, strong winds are expected in the High Plains this weekend as a cold front moves across the region from the north.

Wind gusts of up to 60 mph are anticipated, prompting the issuance of High Wind Watches for most of western South Dakota and the Dakota Territory.

Storm System across New England

Further east, a very powerful and fast intensifying storm system in the eastern Atlantic Ocean will skim across New England on Friday, bringing heavy rains and severe winds.

Along the coast of New England, strong gusts and heavy surf will be experienced, with light snow perhaps falling as far inland as Downeast Maine and Cape Cod.

This system will also aid in the movement of an arctic cold front out of Canada and into the Northeast on Friday, laying the groundwork for a very cold night and start to the weekend in the region.

Saturday morning temperatures in portions of New England are expected to plunge into the single digits and perhaps below zero degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chills making it seem significantly worse.

Wind Chills in the Northeast

Wind chills much below zero degrees Fahrenheit might inflict frostbite on exposed flesh in as little as a few minutes in the inland regions of the Northeast.

This chilly airmass will also make its way into the northern Mid-Atlantic, where temperatures will begin to drop into the teens and low 20s on Saturday.

If not, a cold front is on its way to the Southern Plains, which will bring sunny skies and little precipitation.

The Southeast, Tennessee Valley, and the Gulf Coast States will also have calm weather until the aforementioned winter storm arrives this weekend.

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