Will you be one of the lucky areas to see a white Christmas? As the Christmas weekend nears, a Midwest winter storm is moving in before.
The National Weather Service is forecasting 3 to 8 inches of snow in southern Utah and northern Arizona on Tuesday into Wednesday, and 6 to 8 inches of snow in some parts of Colorado. Mountain areas will see more snow than the local areas. The winter storm will be causing some travel delays on major highways in Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.
Over the next 24 hours strong winds will increase and will start to blow Winter Storm Draco into the Midwest. Strong winds with gusts up to as high as 45 mph early Thursday will reduce visibility in some areas to near zero because of blowing and drifting snow.
Parts of the Plains and Great Lakes will be hit with the heavy snow, targeting Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s possible to see 6-12″ of snow in these areas.
This winter storm is expected to make traveling conditions on U.S. 36 and Interstates 29 and 35 hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Keep in mind that the heaviest snow is expected to fall between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m. Thursday, with the falling snow coming to an end by 6 a.m. Thursday.
The Weather Service is urging those who are traveling Wednesday night into Thursday to consider alternative plans.
Additional snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches will occur in the mountains of western Maine, 4 to 8 inches in the rest of northern Maine and up to 4 inches in northern Vermont, north and central New Hampshire and central and eastern Maine.
It’s still too early to tell exactly which way the winter storm might go, but there will be areas that will definitely see snow and blizzard-like conditions. As of now, the winter storm system is expected to move to the Southwest and Rockies Tuesday and Wednesday before bringing the snow to the eastern half of the country later into Wednesday through Friday.
Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth added there would likely be lake-effect snow threat behind the storm on Thursday and Friday.
Again, you plan on traveling for Christmas weekend, please be very cautious and make plans ahead of time if you are expected to run into this winter storm. The Iowa Department of Transportation is already warning that the storm could bring blizzard or near blizzard conditions and urges people to stay off the roads if weather conditions turn severe.
Winter Storm Draco
On Wednesday, strong storms will fire up in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and the Lower Mississippi Valley. Spotty damaging winds and hail are the main threats. Isolated tornadoes are also possible.
Winter Storm Draco: The Christmas Snowmaker
Winter Storm Draco will deliver significant widespread heavy snowfall for mountains of the West with 3 feet likely in some locations through Tuesday.
Winter storm in Idaho
Tracking the fourth winter storm, Draco, moving through the Pacific Northwest. For the Treasure Valley it will just mean some scattered showers and gusty winds, but for the mountains of Idaho we’ll see more snow.
Winter Storm Outlook: Dec 16-17 Storm & Dec 20th Storm
Here is an update on the winter storm in the Desert Southwest where snow mainly above 5,000 feet will fall around Las Vegas, and north of Phoenix where 6 to 12 inches of snow will fall. Also an update on the Northern Plains and Great Lakes storm for December 16-17 plus the outlook on any prospect for the December 20th snowstorm for the East Coast.