Pesky Storm Bringing Snow to Upper Miss. Valley
UPDATED 9 AM CDT, May 2, 2013
UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Andrew Rosenthal
A complex storm system moving through the Plains is bringing rain and a slushy snow from the Front Range to the banks of Lake Superior. While the snow portion of the story will wind down today, the storm is likely to stick around the central U.S. through the weekend.
A cold front is moving through the Plains today stretching from Minnesota to Texas. Moisture ahead of the front is clashing with colder air along and behind the front to produce thunderstorms from Texas to Iowa, and snow from central Kansas into Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The good news is that much of the snow is falling on a warm ground, causing it to melt into slush. However, 3-to-6 inches of snow is still expected on grassy surfaces, with an inch of slush of roads and highways. This is already making driving conditions difficult across northern Iowa and southern Minnesota, and as colder air sinks behind the front is likely to impact the morning commute in the suburbs of the Twin Cities.
Winter Storm Warnings are in place from southern Minnesota to northwestern Wisconsin, while Winter Weather Advisories stretch from Iowa to Wisconsin.
As the day wears on, a new area of low pressure will form along the cold front in the central Plains, but this storm will decide to plant itself over the Ozarks through the weekend. Even as the cold front dissipates and the low "cuts off" from the atmospheric flow, rain will still fall across Kansas and Missouri. Showers and thunderstorms are likely across the Lower Mississippi Valley as the storm draws Gulf moisture onshore.
In the northern Plains, the position of the low pressure system will allow for southerly winds, which will bring warmer temperatures into the Twin Cities and Upper Mississippi Valley. While the spring-like temperatures of the early-portion of the week won`t be back, temperatures will be warm enough to produce rain instead of snow. This rain will be light but steady, producing a couple inches of rain across a region still reeling from a soaking April.
The pattern will be slow to shift, but should finally budge come Sunday, when the low pressure system will be kicked eastward by an approaching ridge of high pressure.
Owatonna, Minn., has seen 5 inches of snow from this May winter-like storm, while Arthur, Neb., has totaled 3 inches of snow. Cheyenne, Wyo., has seen 9 to 14 inches of snow, while Buford, Wyo., has been the big winter winner with 20 inches of the white stuff.
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