Mother Nature is almost back in the same place late this week as another major winter storm hits the United States. The country will see blizzard conditions and abundant snow in the northern regions. It will continue into Canada on Friday and Saturday. A deep low-pressure system that ejects from the Rockies will also bring back warm and moist air to the Great Plains. This will result in another multi-day severe storm outbreak this spring with tornadoes.
There is growing confidence that the United States will experience yet another spring season weather system as a new winterstorm moves through the west. Sounds familiar? This is very similar in many ways to the storm that ravaged millions of Americans just a week earlier.
We will do this again this weekend.
Another major snowstorm is expected to hit the northern High Plains. It will bring back blizzard conditions, road closures and extreme cold.
A classic severe thunderstorms eruption is forecast for the Great Plains to Midwest, on the southern end of the deep-surface low. This multi-day event is expected to bring strong storms and large hail, severe winds and tornadoes. The majority will be on Saturday and Sunday.
The severe weather event that occurred recently brought tens to tornadoes from Texas to Iowa to Minnesota and Minnesota on both the north and east. These strong tornadoes were also seen in Texas, Iowa and Minnesota last week.
As is the case with spring weather systems, the amplified Jet-stream pattern across North America leads to severe frontal system that bring snow and thunderstorm threat across the continent. The actual effects from the upcoming late-season snowstorm will be extensive, covering most of the U.S.A, including the deep southern states, the Midwest, and the International border.
A winter storm can be so severe that the low-pressure systems become more intense, and the advection of colder weather from Canada into the United States becomes stronger than in the spring months. The northern states will be flooded with cold weather memories this weekend as strong winter weather is forecasted to bring snow and low temperatures. Snow will be very heavy at times, combined with strong to severe winds and a blizzard in the low’s wake as large pressure differences will establish.
The video animation above shows the sequence of the new weather pattern, which has a deep surface low grazing across America over the weekend. The system intensifies when the upper wave moves into the Rockies on Friday and into the Great Plains Saturday and Sunday. A combination of severe thunderstorms on one side and heavy snow with blizzards on the other will affect millions along the frontal system’s track.
Winter storm watches have been issued for Montana, Dakotas and large cities ahead of the system. Minot, North Dakota was one of the most affected by the historic winter storm. Minot was covered by 46 inches snowpack this April, breaking the previous record of 35 inches set in 1970. Minot’s seasonal total is around 75 inches, more than 50% above the normal winter season.
These totals will rapidly rise as a result of the expected accumulation of 15-30 inches in certain areas. Strong winds and the forecast of 1-3 feet of snow will cause roads and towns to be buried again. Similar conditions are likely in southern Saskatchewan, Canada.
Let’s dig into some more details on the developing weather system.
ANOTHER WINTER STORM – MAJOR SNOW AND BLIZZARD IN THE NORTHERN U.S.
Another deep upper low is seen in the west United States on Friday. It crosses the Rockies and enters the Great Plains before turning toward southern Canada for the weekend. This is a typical weather setup, which normally leads to the development cold season-like weather on the colder side. Strong severe thunderstorms will form on the warmer side the surface low-pressure system.
The surface pressure rises as the upper wave crosses the Rocky Mountains. Colder upper levels push southwards, and the surface pressure becomes more intense. The system grows large due to a battle between very warm air coming from the south and colder air coming south from Canada.
This chart shows the classic spring weather pattern in the United States. The chart above shows a deep, low-pressure upper-level low that is surrounded by strong pressure gradients south and south. This will create powerful jet stream winds that will graze the sky where there is the greatest gradient.
As conditions rapidly worsen with the deep upper wave from the Pacific Northwest toward the west U.S., snow will befall the northwestern states starting Friday morning. The northern Rockies are under pressure.
As the system strengthens and moves towards northern Plains, snowfall will be heavier on Saturday. The snowfall that is the most heavy is expected to fall from Montana and Wyoming, through western Dakotas and southern Canada, late Saturday night into Sunday morning.
These areas will see widespread snowfall and blizzard conditions due to snow’s strong winds. Travelers along I-80/90 will experience reduced visibility and near-zero visibility from Friday afternoon to Sunday. This is due to the possibility of snowdrifts and other snowy conditions. Below is the sequence that the frontal system will make progress over the weekend.
As the storm moves into the Midwest, heavy snowfall will be gradually occurring along the northern side. From Saturday into Sunday, a large area of heavy and unusually deep snow will cover eastern Montana, western South Dakota, and North Dakota. It is very close to repeating last week’s record-breaking storm.
The winds will become stronger with strong pressure differences. This will lead to more heavy blowing snow, worsening visibility and blizzards. Many roads could be blocked again.
It is expected that snow will continue to accumulate, particularly from the northern High Plains to the western Dakotas. This area will be characterized by large snowdrifts and whiteout conditions. The areas with the highest snow accumulations are likely to be in eastern Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, and southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Some areas could see up to 2 feet of snow again, depending on where the best conditions for heavy precipitation are.
The conditions for heavy snowfall are most favorable on the northern side, which is usually the case with the slow-moving intense winter thunderstorm.
MORE TERRORSTORMS & TORNADOES FOR THE PLAINS & MIDWEST
One of the most common features of the spring season winterstorm is the increased likelihood for severe weather to its southern side. Due to the high temperature contrast, there is a greater chance of a multi-day severe storm outbreak in the central U.S. On Friday, the first round of severe storms will likely form across Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota. Storms could bring heavy hail, severe winds and even tornadoes.
On Saturday, a stronger severe thunderstorm condition is expected to develop. The surface low, which travels across the northern Plains, will be deeper than normal the day after. This will lead to a significant return of significantly moist, warmer air mass far north of Gulf of Mexico due to the strong jet stream. As a result, severe thunderstorms are likely to become more common along the front stretching from Minnesota through Oklahoma from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning.
Thunderstorms with greater potential for tornadoes, even strong ones with severe damaging winds, large to very severe hail with local flooding are possible from late afternoon through the Saturday night hours. The most severe storm-prone areas will be located in Oklahoma, Iowa, and Minnesota. They will spread eastward through the night hours as the front moves further.
High-level moisture will return northward before the surface front, creating more storms. The environment will become extremely unstable under a powerful jet stream aloft.
Supercell thunderstorms are expected to follow with heavy rainfall, severe winds, large hail and possibly even tornadoes.
On Sunday, as the parent low-pressure system moves in the Upper Midwest, the coldfront will produce more severe thunderstorms. It will move from the western Ohio Valley through central Missisippi Valley to Texas. Strong severe weather potential.
On Sunday, thunderstorms are expected to move from central Mississippi Valley into central Texas. A large number of storms will form along the front, which is slowly moving. This will pose the greatest threat to local flooding.
As instability moves into the Southeast United States, activity will decrease over Sunday night. It will be back on Monday morning. These states are unlikely to see significant weather from the weakening and moving cold front. However, stronger thunderstorms could still form with the greatest threat of flooding.
MORE COLD WEATHER FOLLOWS THE WINTERSTORM FOR NORTH
The deep-sea surface low-pressure system matures as it moves over northern United States. However, it remains intense over the weekend and continues east-northeast. It will remain over the Dakotas, Upper Midwest and southern Canada from Saturday to Saturday with its central pressure in mid-980s to upper low. We can see that the winds will be strong throughout the northern U.S., as you can see by the tight isobars.
The strongest winds will be in the system’s wake, thanks to a strong pressure difference between the High over Arctic Canada and our Low. Therefore, the intense surface low and strong winds will pull a lot colder air south from the Canadian prairies towards the northern United States.
First, the most severe cold is expected to reach eastern Montana and Wyoming on Saturday. It will then spread gradually into western North Dakota and South Dakota.
The return of cold weather with very low temperatures in the spring season will gradually spread east-southeast during the weekend, reaching Minnesota and Iowa by Sunday.
You can also see how strong jet streams at the front of the upper wave bring much warmer weather to the eastern and central half of the U.S.A simultaneously.
The cold moves across the Upper Midwest once the deep low begins to lose its strength Sunday night into Monday. It moves further northeast towards South Manitoba and Ontario as the deep low weakens. Monday will be extremely cold for eastern Dakotas, Minnesota, and Iowa with temperatures around 20-30 °F below normal for late April. In some areas, the lowest temperatures will be in single digits.
Tuesday should bring widespread cold across the Great Lakes because the Low moves eastwards across southern Ontario. The cold pool will continue to spread east despite gradually decreasing intensity due to winds and diminishing pressure difference.
As you can see, the cold pool will slowly move east and towards the East Coast and Northeast U.S. until mid-next. There’s some potential it will extend well into the second half of the week as another, secondary low develops along the Atlantic coast and stalls for a couple of days. More snow is expected to fall in the Northeast U.S.A. and New England as well as the far southeast Canada, up until the next weekend.
Images used in this piece were provided by Windy and Wxcharts.
Summer forecast 2022
Source: Severe Weather