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Jeremy Kappell

Widespread Blizzard Conditions Expected from Historic Pre-Christmas Storm


The National Weather Service has been busy getting prepared for a BLOCKBUSTER storm set to deliver snow, high wind and extreme cold to a HUGE CHUNK of real estate across the Central and Eastern US as a plethora of early warnings and watches were issued today.  

While the "Blizzard Warning" (in red) remains limited in size over southwest MN, the conditions on the ground will remain the same for much of the Midwest, Plains and Great Lakes. 

Here's a portion of today's discussion by NOAA's Weather Prediction Center: "Along with the snowfall, very strong winds are expected to impact nearly the entire eastern half of the U.S. as this large system becomes fully mature by Thursday night. Winds will create blizzard conditions throughout the central/northern Plains,the Upper Midwest, and the Great Lakes."

The higher resolution weather models are beginning to sample the storm.  Here's a look at the late run of the 3k NAM from this evening showing SLP (sea level pressure) and P-Type (precipitation type) from Thursday through Friday morning.

While some areas will recieve signifiant snows and the winds will become very gusty over a large area during the period, the most significant feature with this storm will be the EXTREME COLD.  Notice projected temperature anamolies come Friday morning with a HUGE area expected to fall to 30 or 40 or even 50 degrees below normal for this time of the year.  And for the record, it's supposed to be cold in late December!

Today's run of the EURO weather model continues to advertise temps plummeting to BELOW ZERO from the Plains through the Midwest and even into the Lower Ohio River Valley by early Friday.

Factor in the wind and the wind chill readings will be down right UNBEARABLE with the feels like temp reaching 30 to 40 degrees BELOW ZERO across all of the Midwest and Northern Plains. 

These are downright DANGEROUS readings and will likely be the coldest air mass to invade the lower 48 since 2015.  Please take all necessary precautions and be sure to remember your pets!  

As far as snow potential is concerned, the EURO continues to advertise the potential for six inches or more for many areas across the Midwest and hefty totals of a foot or more for much of the Central/Northern Great Lakes.  While lesser totals can be expected across the Middle MS and Lower Ohio River Valleys, the combination of even just a few inches of fresh snow, with high winds and excessive cold will create downright brutal conditions with low visibility and white outs at times.

If there is some good news, it's that whatever snow falls Thursday/Friday will remain on the ground through the weekend producing White Christmas for many, even in areas that don't normally see much snow this time of the year. 

-Jeremy Kappell

Meteorologist, Speaker, Talk Show Host, Blogger and American Patriot

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