The Blizzard of April ’19 is arriving, prompting the National Weather Service to issue hundreds of warnings and watches across the country for the potent storm’s impacts. 1 to 2 feet or more of snow is forecast from this system, along with heavy rain, severe thunderstorms, and gusty winds.
A strong storm over the Central High Plains will move northeastward to the Middle Mississippi Valley by Friday. This system will produce snow, heavy at times, from over parts of the Northern/Central Rockies into parts of the Northern Plains today; tomorrow evening, it’ll expand into parts of the Upper Mississippi Valley. The snow will also expand into the Upper Great Lakes overnight Wednesday too. The storm will continue spread snow over parts of the Central/Northern Plains to the west and north of the surface low, and into the Upper Midwest on Wednesday. Blizzard conditions are expected as heavy and wet snow combines with strong wind. A swath of 1 to 2 feet of snow is forecast for the Central/Northern Plains and into Western Minnesota through Thursday evening, with locally higher amounts.
In addition to the snow, a small area of showers and thunderstorms will develop over parts of the Central Plains on Wednesday with the showers and thunderstorms moving into parts of the Middle Mississippi Valley on Thursday. The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center believes there’s an enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms for the Central Plains on Wednesday. As the storm moves out of the Plains, showers and thunderstorms will develop along and ahead of the associated front overnight Thursday into Friday over parts of the Ohio Valley into parts of the Tennessee/Lower Mississippi Valleys.
Between the snow to the north and rain to the south, an icy mix will exist in the middle. An area of rain/freezing rain and sleet will develop over parts of the Upper Great Lakes overnight Thursday into Friday.
Behind the storm and an associated dryline, conditions will be favorable for fire weather throughout the Southwest and Southern/Central Plains, as high sustained winds and even higher gusts combine with very dry humidities. An extreme risk of fire danger exists in the southern High Plains, prompting the widespread issuance of Red Flag Warnings there.
As this system deepens and heads east, high winds are expected from California through the Southwest, the Intermountain West, the Rockies ,and the Plains for the balance of the week.