Upper Midwest and central Plains bracing for heavy snow, Northeast thaws out

The Northeast will thaw out, with above average temperatures.

— -- A winter storm is beginning to intensify and snow is expected to expand into parts of the central and northern Plains on Sunday morning.

Conditions will deteriorate in Nebraska and Southern South Dakota Sunday, followed by southern Minnesota by Sunday evening. In addition to the snowfall, winds will be gusting locally over 30 mph as the storm intensifies Sunday night into Monday. Near blizzard conditions will be likely in this region during this time frame.

On Monday morning, heavy snow will be falling from Nebraska to Western Wisconsin. School cancellations, flight delays, and road closures will be likely in Sioux Falls, Sioux City, and Minneapolis.

By Tuesday morning, the storm will move into the Great Lakes region and bring a heavy rain threat for the Northeast. The combination of heavy rain, mild temperatures, and existing ice jams could cause localized flooding.

There remains some degree of uncertainty where the gradient of heaviest snow totals will be in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The current forecast includes a narrow axis of locally over 12 inches of snow from near Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to the Southern suburbs of Minneapolis. There is a potential for this axis to expand eastward. Important to note that there will be a fairly sharp gradient from notable nuisance snowfall. The heaviest snow likely misses Rapid City just to the south as well as misses Des Moines just to the north.

In addition to the heavy snow, many locations will also see a little bit of freezing rain and drizzle ahead of the heavier snow.

Sunday will be another day with above average temperatures for much of the eastern U.S. Temperatures in much of this region are forecast to be 10 to 20 degrees above average.

New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. will all be 5 to 10 degrees above their average for the date. Across parts of the South, temperatures are 10 to 15 degrees above average.

Like last weekend, with the milder temperatures, the threat for localized ice jams, and thin ice remain a concern across parts of the Northeast. As a storm approaches from the west, heavy rain will arrive in the Northeast on Tuesday, which could enhance the threat for localized flooding near area waterways affected by ice jams.

After the rain passes, it will turn more seasonable. The good news is, that the extended outlook shows another mild swing in temperatures next weekend.