A powerful cross-country system will have multiple effects across the country this weekend. Starting tomorrow, we’ll see heavy snow and ice across the Northern Plains and Midwest, a severe weather threat in the Southeast, and a mix of wintry precipitation and rain in the Northeast lasting into early next week.

Welcome to the Friday edition of your Morning Briefing, where we’ll give you a quick rundown on everything you need to know weather-wise, every weekday morning. Let’s begin.

Blizzard Conditions Likely Over Northern Plains:

  1. A powerful low pressure system will make its first impacts over the Northern Plains and Upper Great Lakes starting late Friday night. After record setting cold and snowfall this season, an end to this brutal winter does not seem in sight for the region as the rest of the country begins the transition to Spring.
  2. After developing just over the Rockies, this system will push a swath of very heavy snow right over the Dakotas and into the Upper Midwest through Saturday evening. By Saturday night, snowfall totals could reach over a foot, with the heaviest snowfall centered around central Minnesota and northeastern South Dakota.
  3. High winds up to 30 mph are also very likely with this storm, causing blizzard conditions when paired with heavy snowfall of 1+”/hour. Visibility could easily drop to near zero during this storm, so it is advised not to ravel overnight Friday into Saturday in the region.

Severe Storms and Heavy Rain in Southeast:

  1. As this powerful storm sweeps eastward across the country, its strong cold front will trail behind it, giving intense lift to already unstable air. Despite a risk for severe weather through the whole weekend, Saturday will likely be the day for more widespread storms, with effects felt across a greater area.
  2. As this cold front passes over the Lower Mississippi Valley Saturday, it will have a strong chance of producing damaging severe thunderstorms right down to the Gulf Coast.
  3. The biggest dangers in these storms are expected to be straight-line winds and possible tornado development in the early afternoon. It is important to heed local watches and warnings and to take the necessary precautions if you find yourself faced with severe weather.
  4. Heavy rain within these developing storms could also introduce the risk of flash flooding throughout the weekend, especially along the Mississippi and other parts of the region prone to flooding.

Mix of Rain, Snow and Ice Across the Northeast:

  1. This cross-country storm will make one last stop as the weekend comes to an end. The Northeast will catch rain, snow, and ice Sunday, causing some possible travel disruptions at the very start of the week.
  2. Only the Northern Tier will see snow with this storm, while the rest of the region sees a mostly rain event. Inland, any snowfall will likely be followed by a wintry mix and then rain to inhibit any lasting accumulations.
  3. Some urban and road flooding is likely, which could affect end of the weekend travel Sunday evening. For parts of Southern New England, minor ice accretion is expected, which could mean some hazardous driving conditions as well.
  4. Some snow showers may linger in ME, NH, and VT, but precipitation will mostly end by Monday morning, meaning little to no effect on your morning commute to start your week.

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Kathleen is a writer and meteorological consultant at WeatherOptics. A recent graduate from Stony Brook University, Kathleen has earned her B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Previously, she has done research on the role of Atmospheric Rivers on Arctic Amplification and forecasted for local pages like SBU Weather.

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