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After an almost balmy Christmas week, winter will come roaring back this weekend in full force with a winter storm. Luckily, we will be getting the nicer side of this storm first.
A strong area of low pressure will develop of the rocky mountains near the Oklahoma panhandle Friday morning, and quickly race towards the upper Mississippi Valley. On the right side of this storm will be temperatures in the 40s and 50s, and a truly incredible amount of atmospheric moisture from the Gulf of Mexico making for some very heavy rain. On the left side of this storm will be heavy snow and winds gusting to 40mph. Lucky enough for us, we will be getting the rainy right side of this storm as opposed to the snowy left side.
As the storm approaches on Friday night, moderate snow will begin after midnight. This snow will quickly transition to rain around the hours of 7am Saturday morning. It will likely be a messy transition, so we could see a mess of freezing rain, snow, and ice Saturday morning before the bulk of the rain moves in around noon. It will then rain almost nonstop from this time until midday Sunday. On Saturday alone, rain accumulations could be between 1-2 inches. Be thankful this is rain, because that would be the equivalent of 10-20 inches of snow. We will have to monitor some flooding threats considering how wet/frozen the ground currently is.
The forecast becomes a bit more uncertain Sunday afternoon, but at this point on/off light snow will likely begin as the storm occludes (meaning the warm and cold air masses on either side mix). Could be some rain and ice mixed in with the snow until Monday morning. On Monday, the wind will pick up and gust to around 30mph, while the on/off snow will continue throughout the day and possibly even into Tuesday morning. Snow accumulations between Sunday afternoon and Tuesday morning will likely be in the range of 1-3 inches. The system will move out after this.
All in all, this storm is multi-faceted, and will pose numerous threats to travel between Saturday and Monday, especially for those traveling back from Christmas and for New Year's. Stay with KIMT News as we continue to track this storm.