Winter Storm Selene a High Plains blizzard; Heavy snow in the Rockies, Upper Midwest, New England (FORECAST)
Winter Storm Selene is already producing heavy snow in parts of the Rockies, and is expected to become a full-fledged blizzard in the High Plains, and spread over a foot of snow into parts of the Upper Midwest into Thursday.
READ MORE: Highways Shutdown Due to Whiteout Conditions
Blizzard warnings have been hoisted by the National Weather Service in northeast Colorado, including much of the I-25 Front Range urban corridor from Ft. Collins to Denver to the Palmer Divide north of Colorado Springs.
As of Wednesday morning, over a foot of snow had already piled up in the foothills west of Boulder, Colorado, with snow falling at the rate of 2 inches per hour.
Simliar heavy snowfall rates were observed early Wednesday morning in Cheyenne, Wyoming, shutting down two stretches of Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming and a stretch of Interstate 25 in southeast Wyoming and northeast Colorado.
Current Radar and Winds
Up to 16 inches of snow had already been reported in the higher elevations of California's Sierra Nevada in the 24 hours ending Tuesday morning.
Through Friday, Selene will have spread an over 2,000-mile long swath of snow from the Rockies to the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and northern New England.
READ MORE: Extreme Winter Storms...in Spring
A narrow zone of sleet and freezing rain is also possible south of the snow swath from Wisconsin to northern New England.
The warm side of Winter Storm Selene will also produce severe thunderstorms and heavy rain in parts of the South, mid-Mississippi Valley and Ohio Valley. See the link below for more details on the severe threat.
(MORE: Severe Weather Threat This Week)
How Much Snow?
- Over a foot of snow possible: Tetons of Wyoming, southeast Wyoming, mountains and Front Range of northern Colorado; Locally, over a foot is possible from southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa to northern Maine. (CITIES: Green Bay, Wisconsin | Alpena, Michigan)
- At least 6 inches of snow: Parts of the Front Range of the Rockies, western and northern Nebraska, the Black Hills and also parts of southeast South Dakota, northern Iowa, southern Minnesota, central and northern Wisconsin, northern Michigan, including the eastern Upper peninsula of Michigan, upstate New York, the Green and White Mountains, and parts of central Maine. (CITIES: Cheyenne, Wyoming | Denver | Minneapolis)
- Less than 6 inches of snow expected: Milwaukee | Des Moines | Duluth | Omaha
Forecast Snowfall Through Friday
Strong, gusty winds will also accompany the snow in some areas, leading to reduced visibility and treacherous travel conditions. This could potentially impact stretches of Interstates 70, 80, 90, 25, 29, 35, 94 and 75 among others.
INTERACTIVE: Commuter Forecast
In addition, a band of freezing rain is possible from parts of the Corn Belt into northern New England.
In some locations, this may not only lead to slick roads, particularly overpasses, but also some sporadic sagging or downed tree limbs and power outages.
READ MORE: Impacts of Ice Accumulations
Ice Accumulation Forecast
Winter Storm Selene Timing
- Daytime: A long swath of states from Wyoming and Colorado eastward to Michigan and Upstate New York could see snow or a rain/snow mix. In the Plains, any rain/snow mix will be changing to all snow.
- Night: Snow or rain changing to snow continues from parts of Nebraska and northern Kansas to southeast South Dakota, Iowa, southern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. A band of freezing rain is expected in northern Iowa, southern Wisconsin and Lower Michigan. Some snow or a mixture of rain and snow may continue as far east as Upstate New York and northern New England.
Gusty winds may accompany the snow leading to reduced visibility and treacherous travel conditions in the Upper Midwest and Plains. Wind gusts up to 55 mph are possible on the Plains of eastern Colorado, leading to blizzard conditions.
- Snow or freezing rain is expected from the upper Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes into western, central and Upstate New York and northern New England Thursday.
- Strong winds will continue to cause reduced visibility and hazardous travel conditions to the north and northwest of where the low tracks in the Midwest.
Wintry weather may linger in northern New England into Friday.
It's not unusual to see snow after the spring equinox in many of the areas that could see accumulating snow this week. For example, Minneapolis-St. Paul averages about 5 inches of snow annually from March 21 through April. For parts of the northern/central Rockies and the adjacent High Plains, April is actually the snowiest month of the year, on average.
In fact, one-foot-plus March snowfalls are no stranger to the mythical "frozen tundra" of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The name Selene comes from Greek mythology meaning goddess of the moon.