Winter weather is here: Midwest under blizzard warnings, first snowflakes for East likely this weekend

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Storm system dumps snow across West, including Montana, Nevada, Calif.

From Montana to Nevada, snow fell in the western U.S. from Oct. 10-11, creating some very early winter wonderlands.

Accuweather, Accuweather

  • This will be the first measurable snow of the season in much of central and southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities.
  • Snowflakes could even reach places such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City by later Sunday and into Monday.

The first significant snowstorm of the season has prompted blizzard warnings Friday across portions of the Upper Midwest, forecasters said. 

The wintry precipitation will persist through much of the day, allowing the potential for several inches of snow to pile up, AccuWeather said. In Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota, for example, 3 to 6 inches of snow is expected by Friday.

“Travel should be restricted to emergencies only,” the National Weather Service said. “If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.”

Strong winds, potentially up to 60 mph, will blow the snow around, leading to the potential for blizzard conditions in Minnesota and the Dakotas. “In areas that feel the brunt of the storm, these strong winds combined with any snow could cause extensive disruptions,” AccuWeather meteorologist Jessica Storm said.

Tim Masters, a hydrometeorologist with the Weather Service in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, said that “with the wind and snow together, we’re looking at visibility less than a mile and sometimes less than a quarter mile in some places.”

More: Atmospheric river to wallop Pacific Northwest

This is the first measurable snow of the season in much of central and southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, northern Iowa and western Wisconsin, according to Weather.com.

The snow should taper off later Friday, before another system, called an “Alberta Clipper” because of its origin in western Canada, will sweep into the northern Plains on  Saturday and the western Great Lakes Saturday night, bringing more snow.

First snowflakes for the East likely this weekend

Following a soggy Friday in much of the East, the first snowflakes of the season could fly in portions of the region by the weekend and into early next week as colder air rushes in, the National Weather Service said.

AccuWeather forecasters say an active storm track combined with a prolonged blast of cold air in the East will provide opportunities for many in the portions of the Appalachians, mid-Atlantic and Northeast to see their first snow of the season.

Snowflakes could even reach places such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City by later Sunday and into Monday.

Meanwhile, around the Great Lakes, lake-effect snow is likely over the weekend and into early next week. This could produce accumulations ranging from a quick coating to an inch of snow to as much as half a foot in the typical snow belts, such as western portions of Michigan and southwestern New York, AccuWeather said. 

Contributing: Alfonzo Galvan, The Sioux Falls Argus Leader

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