Weekend snow and ice target the Midwest

1 month ago 25
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Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A one-two punch of storm systems are in store for the Midwest through early week, which will undoubtedly produce travel headaches for those in its path. While the latter of the two storm systems will likely yield higher snow and ice accumulations, the first round of wintry weather has required travelers to remain on alert as well.

With the exception of lake-effect snow in recent days, a majority of the Midwest has observed a quiet stretch of weather to end the week. That quickly came to an end for those in the path of this disturbance on Saturday, as a swath of snow and ice developed across the Plains and spread eastward into the Midwest.

By midday Saturday, travel became tricky as roads became slick and snow covered along Interstate 90 in eastern South Dakota and southern Minnesota.

Places like Sioux Falls, S.D., have had a "mild" January so far, with no subzero days and an overall temperature departure of just over 11 degrees Fahrenheit above average. As of Jan. 22, the city had also received 3.2 inches of snow this month, less than half of the roughly 8 inches in a typical January.

As the storm passed through the Sioux Falls area, 2.0 inches of fresh snow was observed, bumping the monthly total up to 5.2 inches as of January 24.

A similar scenario of snowy conditions will spread farther east down I-90 in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa as well. Through Saturday night along this corridor, a swath of 3-6 inches of snow was observed. This includes the Twin Cities, as well as Mankato, Minnesota and Mason City, Iowa.

In the wake of the storm system in Minneapolis, 5.3 inches of snow was reported at the airport on Saturday. Many locales in the metro Twin Cities area reported between 3 and 6 inches of snow.

Into the day on Sunday, the storm will continue to progress eastward across the Midwest, spreading snow across Wisconsin, northern Illinois and Michigan.

All eyes will be on the Green Bay area Sunday morning as the storm system is expected to bring around 3 inches of snowfall during the morning. Crews at Lambeau Field may run into a precarious situation as fresh snowfall covers the grandstands in the stadium prior to kickoff. Given the time constraints, there may only be a limited window of time for snow removal crews to shovel the fresh snowfall. Luckily for the players, a tarp will be placed over the field prior to kickoff to mitigate snow accumulation, and the field features heating coils underneath the soil which also limits accumulation on the field.

Kckoff for the NFC Championship game is slated for 2:05 p.m. CST on Sunday, and by that time, the steady snow is expected to taper off to just a few lingering flurries before coming to a complete end prior to halftime.

The AFC Championship between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills will also be held outdoors at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday evening. Both of these teams are accustomed to playing in cold weather, however Mother Nature will likely not bring along the same impactful weather as what is expected farther north in Green Bay.

The storm system will bring along a swath of potential icy conditions early Sunday morning before conditions largely dry out for the remainder of the day. While there may be some lingering drizzle during the afternoon and evening hours, limited impacts to gameplay are expected.

Speaking of the potential for ice, this storm system is expected to feature a swath of potentially disruptive freezing rain as well. While a blockbuster ice storm is not expected, it only takes a trace of ice accumulation to produce locally slick conditions.

From late Saturday afternoon through the overnight hours, the corridor of icy conditions are straddled the southern extent of accumulating snowfall. From eastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska, eastward into Missouri and Illinois, a general trace to upwards of a 0.10 of an inch of ice can be expected by midday Sunday.

During the daytime hours on Sunday, the icy corridor is expected to continue to progress eastward into portions of Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia. Again, major accumulations are not expected, but if plans take you out and about during the day in places like Indianapolis or Columbus, Ohio, you are urged to take the necessary precautions for potential slick spots.

This storm system will only be the first snow and ice-maker across the Midwest over the upcoming week or so. Hot on the heels of the weekend storm system, a larger, more potent storm lies on the horizon to start the final week of January.

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