The wind is expected to gust to 65 and 75 mph in the plains, combining with snow to create blizzard conditions for nearly 2 million people in the Upper Midwest.
“Strong winds will lead to more seasonal conditions with temperatures typically in the 30s to 40s on Thursday,” CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.
As the storm rises to the Midwest, the cold air behind the system will be greeted by enough moisture to unleash constant snowfall, gusty winds and blizzard-like periods in parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and East Dakota.
“Travel may become impossible due to wind and zero visibility in blizzard conditions,”
However, the system is in no hurry to move through the region, as the impact could last until Friday for millions across the Great Lakes.
Prolonged snowfall, accompanied by periods of heavy snow with a lake effect on the southern shores of Lake Superior, will result in a wide coverage of 3 to 6 inches of snow in the Upper Midwest, with the highest amounts likely to range between 6 and 10 inches in Minnesota. and northern Wisconsin.
As the system advances east on Thursday night against Friday, periods of snow, rain and winter mix will affect parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
Rain and snow reach the northeast by Friday night
A secondary low-pressure system will form on the cold front when the system reaches the East Coast by Friday night and Saturday morning.
Although it promises to bring a weak start to the weekend for the Northeast, most of the area will see rain rather than snow, thanks to relatively mild January temperatures.
Places like New York and Boston will be in the mid to upper 40s on Saturday, with half an inch to an inch of rain, as opposed to a few inches of snow, which they will see if temperatures are lower.
Snowfall on Friday night and Saturday will be limited to New York State and upstate New England. For the most part, even these places are expected to see only about 2 to 5 inches, although some of the preferred places at a higher elevation can see more than half a meter of snow.
The generation of strong winds of the storm is the difference in air pressure between the strong high pressure zone in the southwest and the inlet low from the northwest.