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Fox News Weather Center

Cross-Country Snowstorm to Whip Rockies, Drop Rare Early Snow in Central Plains

A January-like storm hitting the Northwest late this week will aim at part of the Rockies and Central states this weekend and may result in disruptions to travel and daily activities.

Snow from the storm will impact cities from Denver to Chicago and Detroit this weekend. Enough snow could fall at area airports to cause deicing delays at the very least.

The expanse of the arctic air will continue to bring much lower temperatures when compared to average, and it will also bring precipitation more common during December and January, as opposed to November.

After producing a zone of heavy snow and ice in portions of interior Oregon and Idaho into Friday, a storm that originated over the Pacific Ocean will blast areas from Wyoming and Colorado to the central High Plains with snow, wind and cold.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Miller, "Blizzard conditions are possible for a time in the mountains of southern Wyoming to central Colorado Friday night into Saturday."

Motorists traveling along through the mountains in this zone should slippery and dangerous travel, including Interstate-70, I-80 and I-25. Cities from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colorado, will receive a few inches from the storm.

A six- to 12-hour period of heavy snow and gusty winds could bring whiteout conditions and cause some of the passes to close temporarily.

Part of the storm will push southward into New Mexico and the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles later this weekend. Locally heavy snow is possible on some of the ski resorts in New Mexico. Enough snow could fall to make for slippery travel along I-27 and I-40 in the region, including at Amarillo, Texas, and Oklahoma City.

As part of the storm heads south Saturday into Sunday, another part will reorganize farther east this weekend over the Plains and Midwest as a reinforcing surge of cold begins to advance.

The storm over the Central states will not be as potent as that of the Rockies or the Northwest. However, due to low temperatures ahead of the storm and another dose of cold air following the snow and wintry mix, roads and sidewalks that are still wet and slushy this weekend may freeze from the Plains to the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.

Light to moderate snow will fall over the central Plains Saturday. Enough could fall to make roads slippery around Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa; St. Louis and Wichita, Kansas. Locally in this swath, a couple of inches can accumulate.

According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno, "It is possible an unusual early season heavy snowfall develops in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas, as well as the hilly areas in northeastern Oklahoma."

The snow will extend farther east Saturday night, reaching Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati. Similar to that of the Plains, roads can become slippery, and there may be enough snow to sweep off vehicles and shovel in some locations by Sunday morning.

During Sunday night and Monday, the storm will once again reorganize and will bring the risk of snow or rain changing to snow in the Appalachians and part of the I-95 Northeast.

Bands of lake-effect snow will continue from the Upper Midwest to the central Appalachians this weekend and into next week. However, these bands of snow will tend to shift around as the direct of the flow of cold air changes from time to time.