Northern U.S. braces for first major snowstorm

Written by Jeppe W

Oct.25 - 2023 11:06 AM CET

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Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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The onset of winter is making an early statement across the northern United States this week, as forecasters anticipate the season's first significant snowstorm, potential blizzard conditions, and a plunge into glacial temperatures.

Starting Tuesday, a potent weather system is set to impact lightly populated areas in the Pacific Northwest, extending through to the northern Rockies, and eventually reaching the northern Plains in the subsequent days.

AccuWeather meteorologists have issued warnings of "near-blizzard conditions," while the National Weather Service (NWS) predicts snow accumulations could reach up to two feet in certain locales.

Joseph Bauer from AccuWeather emphasizes the importance of early preparations, urging residents to ready their winter gear and snow removal equipment.

Winter Storm Warnings and Precautions

As the storm advances, winter storm warnings and watches are in place for parts of the Cascades and northern Rockies.

Travel is expected to become significantly challenging, with the NWS office in Great Falls, Montana highlighting the potential need for tire chains and advising those in remote areas to equip themselves properly or consider altering their plans.

Weather.com’s Jonathan Erdman predicts roads may become snow-covered and slippery, further complicating travel from Tuesday through Thursday.

By Thursday, the storm is expected to generate gusty winds across the Dakotas, creating blizzard-like conditions, characterized by heavy snow, high winds, and severely reduced visibility.

In the storm's wake, an Arctic air mass is set to introduce the coldest temperatures of the season across the northern Rockies and Plains.

Montana and Wyoming are expected to experience temperatures 15-35 degrees below the historical average by Thursday night. This Arctic blast will bring about the season’s first sub-zero temperatures in the northern Rockies and unusually low temperatures across the Northwest and northern Plains.

Approximately 2.5 million people are currently under some level of winter weather alert due to the impending storm, spanning across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota.

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