Fox News Weather Center

Snow to disrupt travel across 1,200-mile stretch of northern US

A storm will spread a round of snow, ice and rain from the Plains to the Great Lakes later this week. The storm will reach the Northeast with mostly rain this weekend.

A weak disturbance will first produce spotty light snow and a wintry mix from parts of Iowa and eastern Nebraska to the eastern part of the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin into Wednesday night.

A more significant storm will follow Thursday into Friday.

According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "One of the storms hitting California this week will spread a few inches of snow to part of the north-central United States with a bit of rain over flooded areas farther to the south to end the week."

The storm spanning Thursday into Friday is not expected to bring heavy precipitation to the region. However, enough snow can fall to cause roads, sidewalks and travel delays from Denver and Salt Lake City to Minneapolis and Sault Saint Marie, Michigan.

The snow will fall over a swath of about 1,200 miles.

Motorists should be prepared for wintry travel conditions in portions of interstates 29, 35, 80 and 90.

The storm on Thursday and Friday will be much less intense than the storm just after Christmas. Because of this, blizzard conditions, severe weather and flooding are not expected.

The storm will bring a general 1-3 inches of snow will fall from the northern Plains to the upper Great Lakes region, including Huron, South Dakota, and Minneapolis.

More substantial snow will fall close to and across the central Rockies. Cheyenne, Wyoming and Denver can expect 4-8 inches of snow from the storm.

A narrow swath of icy travel or a slippery wintry mix will occur with the storm for a time from parts of western and central Kansas to southeastern Nebraska, central Iowa, central Wisconsin and part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

Mostly rain is forecast from Kansas City, Missouri, to Chicago and Detroit from the storm. There can be a touch of ice or wet snow at the onset.

Temperatures will remain above freezing during the storm for all rain to fall from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf Coast states.

Rain will focus on the Missouri and lower Mississippi valleys during Thursday into Thursday night before moving into the Ohio Valley Thursday night and mid-Atlantic states later on Friday.

Rain amounts will generally be on the order of an inch or less, but localized areas could receive higher amounts.

Precipitation will be in the form of rain in Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, New York City and Washington, D.C.

The system could produce locally heavy thunderstorms along the Gulf coast.

This storm will then track into New England with mostly rain and drizzle this weekend. There may be a bit of ice or spotty light snow in the northern tier at the onset.

Snow, freezeup may accompany return of arctic air this weekend

Another storm is forecast to swing northeastward as much colder air pours back into the region.

According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, an area of snow will develop and begin to swing eastward across the central Plains on Friday night, before turning northeastward across the Great Lakes region on Saturday into Sunday.

"The storm this weekend has the potential to bring accumulating followed by a freezeup around the western and central Great Lakes region," Sosnowski said. "This includes general area from Chicago and Indianapolis to Milwaukee and Grand Rapids, Michigan."

How much snow falls will depend on the speed at which arctic air pours in and how quickly moisture departs the region.