As frigid air begins to push southward across the Central United States next week, a swath of accumulating snow will push eastward from the Rockies, northern Plains and into part of the Midwest.
Before the snow reaches the U.S., AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said, "As the Arctic air moves into Alberta late Saturday and Sunday, there will be an area of expanding snow from northwestern Alberta to southwestern Saskatchewan.... With this type of event, we can certainly see at least 8-15 cm of snow over southwestern Alberta with locally higher amounts."
The storm will move on to affect parts of Montana and Wyoming with snow, plunging temperatures and dangerous travel conditions this weekend. High winds will howl, causing blowing snow and whiteout conditions in some areas.
Spanning Monday and Tuesday, the storm will turn farther east and could affect some major cities in the Midwest or at least connecting highways with snow.
The swath from South Dakota and northern Nebraska to southern Minnesota, northern Iowa, southern Wisconsin and the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan are at greatest risk for several inches of snow.
A shift in track of the storm by a couple of hundred miles may make the difference between heavy snow hitting the cities of Minneapolis versus Des Moines, Iowa, Chicago and Milwaukee.
Portions of highways that may be impact by snow and slippery travel in the Central states include interstates 25, 29, 35, 75, 80, 90 and 94.
The snow will initially melt as it falls on roads but is likely to create slushy and slippery conditions as temperatures tumble with advancing arctic air and the southward dip of the polar vortex.
Temperatures will plunge below freezing during and shortly after the storm. Parts of the northern Plains may experience temperatures dipping into the single digits and teens.
People can keep up to date on the developing snowstorm and the progress of the cold air by checking in at AccuWeather.com.
Travelers will want to make sure they and their vehicles are prepared for the snow and wintry temperatures.
A couple of days after the snowstorm affects the Midwest, another storm may bring snow to part of the East.
Which areas and how much snow falls will depend on the track and strength of the storm forecast to swing up from the Southern states later next week.
At this early stage, it appears snow is most likely to fall on parts of the southern and central Appalachians to a portion of New England.