Winter Storm Goliath to bring snow to West, Plains, Upper Midwest and New England; blizzard watches in High Plains

Winter Storm Goliath Bringing Snow and Ice
By Weather.com

Winter Storm Goliath will spread snow from the mountains of the West to parts of the Plains, Upper Midwest and possibly New England through early next week. Some of the heaviest snow amounts may target parts of the southern High Plains where strong winds could also cause blizzard conditions. As a result, NOAA's National Weather Service has posted blizzard watches for parts of this area.

(MORE: Science Behind Naming Winter Storms)

A variety of other winter storm watches, warnings and advisories are in effect across the Plains from Texas northward to South Dakota. While mainly snow is anticipated across the central to northern Plains, a combination of snow, ice and rain will fall over parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

RELATED GALLERY: See photos of wild winter weather in 2015
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Snow, winter weather 2015-2016 season across the U.S.
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Winter Storm Goliath to bring snow to West, Plains, Upper Midwest and New England; blizzard watches in High Plains
LUBBOCK, TEXAS - DECEMBER 27: A highway worker tries to shield himself while walking to his truck on December 27, 2015 in Lubbock, Texas. Coming on the heels of several strong tornadoes, some northern parts of Texas are experiencing blizzard conditions with wind gusts up to 50 mph and as much as 13 inches of snow forecast. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
NEDERLAND, CO - DECEMBER 15: Steve Hauser plows snow in the Caribou Shopping Center in Nederland, Colorado on December 15, 2015. Snow is expected to continue throughout the day. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
NEDERLAND, CO - DECEMBER 15: A yellow lab waits patiently in his owner's snowy old truck along East 1st Street in Nederland, Colorado on December 15, 2015. Snow is expected to continue throughout the day. The dog looked warm and didn't wait long in the car as his owner returned shortly after an errand in the town. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DEC. 15: Anna Renton, 7, right, relaxes while neighbor Graham Langner, 7, has a snow fight with his nanny, Ashely Kish.The Denver metro area received more snow than expected overnight, closing schools across the city with some areas measuring a foot of snow by the early morning. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CO - DECEMBER 15: Crut Liles clears snow from his walkways outside his home in Lakewood, December, 15, 2015. Many schools in the area are closed due to the snow storm. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DEC. 15: A CDOT crew runs their plow truck southbound on Colorado Blvd. near E. 13th Ave. in Denver. The Denver metro area received more snow than expected overnight, closing schools across the city with some areas measuring a foot of snow by the early morning. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Al Frelk walks his dog, Shiba, 10, in Lords Park in Elgin, Ill., on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Asked about the snow, Frelk said, 'It's beautiful, but can be tough to drive in. Though Shiba has been waiting 9 months for this.' The first winter storm of the season dropped more than 10 inches of snow at numerous Chicagoland locations. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17: Snow hit the Denver metro area having an impact on air travel at Denver International Airport. They were clearing out from the snow on Tuesday, November 17, 2015. Raul Hernandez shovels snow in the economy lot. Hernandez and his crew had worked all night to clear snow. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CO - NOVEMBER 11: Brandon Nelli, a student at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, shovels snow during a Veteran's Day snow storm the moved into the area overnight, November, 11, 2015. Lakewood got almost 3 inches in some areas form the storm. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 11: A blanket of white snow covers Fort Logan National Cemetery during a Veteran's Day snow storm the moved into the area overnight, November, 11, 2015. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
MONUMENT, CO. - November 17: Bob Swift clearing his driveway of a deep drift of snow in Monument, CO. November 17, 2015 Monument, CO (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
An above-average amount of snow covers a small cabin near where the first snow survey of winter conducted by the California Department of Water Resources in Phillips, California December 30, 2015. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
Cameron Shonnard backflips a jump at Squaw Valley in Olympic Valley, California, December 5, 2015. An El Nino is forecasted for California, and regular precipitation has been welcomed after years of drought. REUTERS/Max Whittaker TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Fresh snow clings to trees near Big Bend, California, December 4, 2015. An El Nino is forecasted for California, and regular precipitation has been welcomed after years of drought. Picture taken December 4. REUTERS/Max Whittaker
The U.S. Capitol dome can be seen behind piles of snow removed from parking areas and walkways around the Capitol grounds in Washington January 26, 2016. The snowbound Washington area was resuming partial business on Tuesday as trains and buses restarted near-normal service, while federal offices remained closed following a massive blizzard that hammered the U.S. East Coast. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Floodwaters cover Green Avenue after a winter storm in Manasquan, New Jersey, January 24, 2016. A morning high tide surge of 2 feet followed snowfall of about 2 feet in the first major storm of the season. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
A couple poses for a photo on a snow pile during a snow storm in Times Square in the Manhattan borough of New York, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES - 2016/02/15: Snow is once again falling across Washington, D.C on Monday, 15 February 2016. The bitter cold was replaced by snow, sleet and rain Monday in the mid-Atlantic states and the South, but many residents were able to hunker down at home with federal offices and many businesses closed for Washington's Birthday. (Photo by Probal Rashid/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A barn painted with the U.S. flag is seen in the snow covered field in Kanawha, Iowa, United States, January 16, 2016. Iowa will be the first state to hold its primary, with both Democratic and Republican events being held February 1, 2016. Picture taken January 16, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
Police officers gather outside the Montgomery County Courthouse, where actor and comedian Bill Cosby will arrive for a preliminary hearing on sexual assault charges, in Norristown, Pennsylvania February 2, 2016. Cosby has been charged with the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand, a former women's basketball team manager at Temple University in Philadelphia, Cosby's alma mater. REUTERS/Mark Makela REUTERS/Mark Makela
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In addition to snow, the warm side of Goliath will produce severe thunderstorms and heavy rain this weekend. For more on that story, click the link below.

(MORE: Severe Weather Forecast)

Winter Storm Goliath will occur in two separate phases:

Phase 1: Upper-level energy moving into the western states will spread snow across the mountains of the West from now through Friday. Later Friday through Saturday, snow from this first phase of Goliath will also push into parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest.

Phase 2: Some of that upper-level energy pushing through the West will develop into an area of low pressure aloft over the Southwest and southern Plains this weekend. In response to this, a surface low pressure system will also develop in the southern Plains this weekend, which combined with sufficient cold air to its north from high pressure, will result in heavy snow for parts of the southern Plains. That area of low pressure will then track towards the Midwest early next week, bringing snow to parts of that region and eventually New England.

Current Radar
Current Radar

Note: Due to the mountainous terrain in the West, not all snow can be detected by radar and therefore may not be shown on this map.

Uncertainty remains in the details, particularly with the exact location and timing of the snow for parts of the Plains, Midwest and New England late in the weekend into early next week. Below is an overview of the timing for Winter Storm Goliath followed by the snow accumulation forecast. Keep in mind that forecast changes are likely since this storm will last into early next week when uncertainty increases.

Winter Storm Goliath Storm Timing

Friday
Snow pushes through the central Rockies, including parts of Utah, northern Arizona, northern New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming.

A weak wave of low pressure will eventually allow accumulating snow to spread through the northern Plains and Upper Midwest later Friday and Friday night, including parts of northern and western Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.

Cities Potentially Affected:Cheyenne, Wyoming (Friday and Friday night) | Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Friday night) |Minneapolis (Friday night)

Friday's Forecast
Friday's Forecast

Saturday
Snow continues to sweep eastward across parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest during the day as weak low pressure moves through. This includes a swath from South Dakota to Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

Through the day, and especially Saturday night, the storm will really begin to crank up in the southern Plains, with snow or rain changing to snow increasing across parts of New Mexico, west Texas and western Oklahoma. Increasing winds combined with the snow may lead to poor visibility and dangerous travel conditions in the southern High Plains. Blizzard conditions are not out of the question. A narrow band of freezing rain or sleet is also possible from the Texas Panhandle to west-central Oklahoma and central Kansas, particularly Saturday night.

Cities Potentially Affected:Albuquerque, New Mexico (Saturday - Saturday night) | Roswell, New Mexico (Saturday-Saturday night) | Amarillo, Texas (Saturday night) | Lubbock, Texas (Saturday night)
Interstates Potentially Affected: I-40, I-25, I-27, I-70

Saturday's Forecast
Saturday's Forecast

Sunday
Snow, possibly heavy, persists in parts of New Mexico, west Texas, southwestern Kansas and southeastern Colorado. Strong winds on the backside of the low pressure system will likely combine with the snow resulting in poor visibility and dangerous travel conditions with possible blizzard conditions at times. A transition area of sleet and freezing rain may continue from parts of the Texas Panhandle to west-central Oklahoma and south-central Kansas.

Cities Potentially Affected:Roswell, New Mexico | Lubbock, Texas | El Paso, Texas | Amarillo, Texas | Oklahoma City (near there or just to the west could see freezing rain)

Interstates Potentially Affected: I-40, I-25, I-70, I-20, I-10

Sunday's Forecast
Sunday's Forecast

Monday - Tuesday

The timing of the storm is highly uncertain early next week, and will depend on how quickly the area of low pressure moves northeastward into the Midwest and the exact track that low takes. In addition, the amount of cold air available for the storm to tap into could be limited.

For now, snow or a wintry mix may pivot from the southern High Plains into the Midwest Monday into Tuesday as shown on our forecast maps below. Wintry weather is also possible in central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and New England as moisture from the storm runs into cold air supplied by high pressure in eastern Canada. In Pennsylvania, southern New York and southern New England, this wintry precipitation would change to rain as warmer air pushes north.

Monday's Forecast
Monday's Forecast

Tuesday's Forecast
Tuesday's Forecast

How Much Snow?

First Phase of Goliath:
Into Friday, a foot or more of snow will coat the mountains of the West, from the Sierra Nevada into the Rockies.

Several inches of accumulating snow will also likely fall across the northern Plains and the Upper Midwest Friday night through Saturday. Up to 6 inches of total accumulation is possible in parts of South Dakota, northern Nebraska and southern Minnesota.

This first forecast map shows the swath of snow expected from the first phase of Goliath.

First Phase Snow Forecast Through Saturday
First Phase Snow Forecast Through Saturday

​Second Phase of Goliath:
The second phase of Goliath will deliver the heaviest snow. At the moment, computer model forecast guidance is indicating that some of the highest snow totals may target parts of southwestern Kansas, western Oklahoma, western Texas and eastern New Mexico. This is depicted by the dark purple and pink shadings on our forecast graphic below. It's not out of the question that some locations could see 6+ inches or even a foot or more of total snow along with crippling blizzard conditions.

A second round of accumulating snow may also blanket parts of the northern and central Plains and Upper Midwest early next week, but that will depend on the amount of cold air available and the exact track of the low pressure system forming in the southern Plains this weekend.

his forecast map shows the snow forecast for both phases of Goliath through next Tuesday in the Midwest and Plains.

Snowfall Forecast Through Next Tuesday
Snowfall Forecast Through Next Tuesday

Note: This map shows the combined snowfall potential for both phases of Goliath through next Tuesday.


New England Snow?
Finally, some accumulating snow is possible in New England and Upstate New York early next week Monday night through Wednesday. It's far too early to get into specifics, but this map below gives a general idea of the locations that could see snow.

New England Snow Potential
New England Snow Potential

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