Another major winter storm will impact the nation’s midsection this week promising another round of harsh winter weather to many areas. This next storm is quite similar to the storm that impacted many of the same areas the weekend of February 9th and 10th, it will take a similar path, going right over some of the most severe drought areas of the central plains. By the end of the week we may see some slight improvement in drought conditions across some areas of the central plains, but it will come at a price…in the form of a strong winter storm.
Stock growers should be ready for much colder temperatures and snow between Wednesday February 20 and Friday February 22 in many areas of the intermountain west and central plains. We will see colder temperatures and areas of rain develop along the Pacific Northwest and California coast by Tuesday with snow breaking out across portions of Idaho, Nevada and Utah by early Wednesday. Portions of Arizona will also be in line for some rain and snow.
On Wednesday, the storm will jump over the Continental Divide and will get better organized. The storm will be able to tap into some of Gulf of Mexico moisture helping to intensify the storm. As the storm intensifies Wednesday night into Thursday morning, winter storm conditions will develop rapidly over areas of northeast and east central Colorado, northwest Kansas and Nebraska. Heavy snow and strong winds with near blizzard conditions are looking likely for many areas of central, northeast and eastern Nebraska by Thursday along with some areas of northern and northeast Kansas.
There is a strong likelihood of snowfall amounts of 6 to up to 12 inches of new snow across a swath of central and eastern Nebraska, north into southeastern South Dakota, northwest Iowa and southwestern Minnesota. Blizzard conditions will be possible in those areas by Thursday. While the winter storm conditions will be a concern, snowfall water equivalents may be as high as 0.50” to over 1.00”. Winter storm conditions will then spread into central and eastern South Dakota, Iowa, southern Minnesota and Wisconsin by late Thursday.
Some of the very dry areas of extreme northwest Kansas and east central Colorado could pick up their best moisture in months with possibly 0.25” to over a 0.50” of snow water equivalent. This is especially true along and just north and south of Interstate 70 in east central Colorado and into Kansas.
See forecasted precipitation totals through Saturday, February 23rd.
Although snowfall will be lighter, stock growers across Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota can expect much colder temperatures and some snowfall as well. Unfortunately, we are expecting only spotty precipitation with this storm for New Mexico, and southwestern Texas as they will be in the dry slot of the storm.
In the warm sector of the storm, rain and some thunderstorms will break out and will become widespread across central and eastern areas of Oklahoma and Texas and southcentral and southeast Kansas. Cold rain will also develop across portions of the western and southern Corn Belt states of Illinois and Indiana.
For you folks in the southeastern USA, be ready for more heavy rains, in fact not only this week but into the following week more heavy rain potential is likely for Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. Recent rains in Georgia have really helped to ease the drought conditions there with more likely on the way for the rest of February. The eastern areas of the USA will still have some rain/snow chances but temperatures will moderate in the week ahead.
After this storm system we will be watching another storm system that could take a similar path across the nation’s midsection by Sunday February 24th into Wednesday, February 27th. That storm may impact many of the locations this week’s storm will impact.
The weather pattern will remain very active for the most of the USA through the rest of the month and into early March. This bodes well for more needed precipitation for the central plains, but also the western Corn Belt, the southeastern states and some areas of the central Rockies.
Temperatures will be colder than normal over most of the central and west through the rest of the month with temperatures moderating some in the east.
Next week we will take a look at what may be in store for March.