Arctic front to dump weekend snow from Rockies to Midwest, including Chicago and Milwaukee
Any locations that pick up accumulating snow from this system will likely see it stick around for a while as temperatures plummet in the wake of the arctic front.
An arctic front plowing across the northern tier of the U.S. through the weekend will be accompanied by a burst of snow from the northern Rockies and Plains to the Upper Midwest.
Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories have been hoisted across much of the northern Rockies, while a stripe of winter weather alerts also extends eastward into parts of the northern Plains and upper Mississippi Valley.
Along the leading edge of the arctic air moving south out of Canada, heavy snow will pile up across the northern Rockies on Saturday. Between 1 and 2 feet of snowfall is expected through Saturday, including at Yellowstone National Park. As much as 2 to 4 feet of snow is possible in the region's highest mountains, including the Teton Range in northwestern Wyoming to the south of Yellowstone.
"Particularly across the northern Rockies, this is where this is going to be really significant," FOX Weather meteorologist Ian Oliver said. "What a fantastic ski weekend you have coming up here … 2 to 3 feet of snow in some of those areas."
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East of the Rockies, a weak area of low pressure developed along the arctic front late Friday, bringing disruptive snowfall Saturday morning across western and southern South Dakota, northern Nebraska, southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. A band of 5- to 8-inch snow totals is possible from Valentine in Nebraska to Sioux City in Iowa.
During the day Saturday, that band of heavier snowfall will swing eastward through the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes, where a few inches of snow is expected for cities such as Des Moines in Iowa, Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit.
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Any locations that pick up accumulating snow from this system will likely see it stick around for a while as temperatures plummet in the wake of the arctic front. Some of the coldest air seen in the U.S. since December will invade the Plains and Midwest, and bitterly cold air will likely remain entrenched over the central states throughout much of next week.
"For most folks, it's going to be the cold that follows all of this snow that's going to be the biggest deal," Oliver said.