Major winter storm headed for Northern Plains


GFS temperature depiction for Central Plains on Wednesday 1pm CDT

It has been fairly quiet for the Northern Plains and Prairie Provinces, which is great for the spring thaw and for the threat of overland flooding. A major winter storm is set to develop off the Colorado Rockies mid-week and impact the Midwest and Northern Plains with some serious snowfall amounts. The problem with this event is that a shift north could mean serious problems for Red River flooding and much uncertainty still remains.





Below is the precipitation track possible on Wednesday into Friday morning. Most of the Red River Basin seems to be unaffected by this storm system, but a shift north could be a problem:

GFS precipitation depiction from Wednesday into Friday

As much as 30-40cm could fall in the axis depicted below, which is not good for areas that have already been saturated with catastrophic flooding over the past several weeks:

"We continue to monitor for a potentially high impact storm system with rain/snow and strong winds for the middle of the work week. Models continue to show this general trend, though we've seen some minor shifts in the storm track. Unfortunately that means that its difficult to nail down the transition of precipitation across the region, and who will see how much moisture. Stay tuned for future updates." - NWS Aberdeen, SD

Models seem to be in general agreement to place the Low track somewhere on the Nebraska/Kansas border. This would keep the axis of heavy precipitation well to the south of Manitoba/North Dakota.


"A strong storm system will impact parts of the Plains and Midwest mid week. Latest long range model guidance is showing a bit farther south track to this system than what was showing on Saturday. However, the track could shift once again. So the key message is uncertanity. Stay tuned for updated forecasts thru the next 48 hours." -NWS Grand Forks, ND

This storm will also bring the possibility of severe weather in its warm sector for the Southern Plains on Wednesday and Deep South/Ohio Valley on Thursday. It certainly bares watching.