A powerful storm system will emerge in the central United States ahead of Veterans Day, posing threats of snow, severe thunderstorms and strong winds in the Plains and Midwest starting Wednesday.
This storm will first crash ashore along the West Coast Monday night, spreading heavy rain, mountain snow and high winds across the region into Tuesday. These rain, snow and wind impacts will then reach parts of the Rockies Tuesday into Tuesday night.
By Wednesday, the powerful storm will emerge over the Plains, setting the stage for an active day of weather from North Dakota and Minnesota southward to Oklahoma and North Texas, with parts of the Midwest and South then getting involved Wednesday night into Veterans Day.
Much colder air will follow in the wake of the storm across the central and eastern U.S. after an unseasonably warm start to the week.
Snow and rain impacts
While many areas will see mainly rain with this system, parts of the Northern Plains and upper Midwest could see their first significant snowfall of the season Wednesday into Friday.
Precipitation will likely begin as rain, but colder air will quickly rush in and change the rain over to snow starting in northeastern North Dakota Wednesday morning, then in northwestern Minnesota Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday night, rain will turn to snow across the rest of northern Minnesota as snow tapers off in North Dakota.
On Veterans Day, snow will continue in northern Minnesota, and rain will change to snow in north-central Wisconsin and the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
A second batch of snow will develop Thursday night into Friday across the Dakotas, northeastern Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, parts of northern Illinois, western and central Wisconsin and the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Snow should come to an end in most of these areas Friday night or early Saturday.
The heaviest snow is projected to fall from eastern portions of the Dakotas into western and northern Minnesota, north-central Wisconsin and the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with lighter accumulations expected elsewhere. However, it is too soon to predict exact snowfall totals, so check back for updates in the week ahead.
This system will also spread rain across the South and the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee valleys Thursday into Thursday night.
On Friday, rain will move through the eastern states from New England to the Carolinas before the storm pushes off the East Coast Friday night.
Strong winds will accompany the snow and rain in the Plains and Midwest starting on Veterans Day.
The highest winds on Veterans Day will target areas from the Dakotas to the western Great Lakes, where wind gusts of 30 to 40-plus mph are likely.
On Friday, winds are forecast to be even stronger, especially over the Northern and Central Plains. Winds could gust over 50 mph from North Dakota to Nebraska, with isolated spots gusting to 60-plus mph.
In areas where snow is falling, these high winds will lead to blowing and drifting snow, meaning visibility could be reduced to near zero at times. This is especially hazardous for motorists, so you're advised to use extreme caution if you must travel on Veterans Day or Friday.
Severe thunderstorm impacts
The southern end of this storm's cold front will sweep across the Southern Plains on Wednesday.
As a result, a few severe thunderstorms are predicted to develop over parts of Oklahoma, North Texas and south-central Kansas Wednesday afternoon and evening.
Large hail, damaging winds and an isolated tornado are all potential threats with the severe storms.