Short Range Forecast Discussion
NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD
259 AM EST Mon Feb 26 2024
Valid 12Z Mon Feb 26 2024 - 12Z Wed Feb 28 2024
...Heavy snow over parts of the Cascades, the Northern Intermountain
Region, Northern/Central Rockies, Sierra Nevada Mountains, and higher
elevations of the Great Basin...
...Moderate to heavy snow over parts of the Upper Midwest...
...There is a Slight Risk of severe thunderstorms over parts of the Ohio
Valley/Great Lakes on Tuesday...
A strong winter storm and cold front will move across the Pacific
Northwest to the Central Rockies by Tuesday evening. The strong cold front
will continue progressing through the region, reaching the Northern
Rockies on Monday and the Central Rockies on Tuesday.
The storm will create near-blizzard conditions, resulting in dangerous
travel. Snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour are expected over the Oregon
Cascades and Northern Rockies Monday before spreading into the Great Basin
and Central Rockies Tuesday. These snow rates combined with winds gusting
50-65 mph will produce near-blizzard conditions with significantly reduced
visibility and snow-covered roads leading to dangerous travel.
Moreover, significant snow accumulations are expected, with snow totals
greater than 2 feet are expected (greater than 80% chance) in the Cascades
through Tuesday, with locally as much as 4 feet possible in the highest
terrain. Elsewhere across the Intermountain West, there is a high chance
(greater than 70%) of more than 1 foot of snow in the higher elevations.
Lowering snow levels to near sea level will also produce some
accumulations onto the valley floors.
Furthermore, widespread snow squalls are expected to develop along the
path of the cold front on Monday and Tuesday. Where snow squalls occur,
intense snow rates will produce rapid drops in visibility and icing on
roadways, resulting in dangerous travel.
In addition, much colder air will move in behind the strong cold front.
Temperatures will fall into the teens and single digits by Tuesday morning
along and east of the Rockies.
Meanwhile, southerly wind will bring warm temperatures to the Plains ahead
of the strong cold front. The warm and dry conditions with gusty winds
across the Southern High Plains have resulted in a Critical Risk of Fire
Weather (level 2/3) from the Storm Prediction Center on Monday, which is
likely to continue into Tuesday.
Additionally, moisture from the Western Gulf of Mexico will stream
northward over the Southern Plains, Middle/Lower Mississippi Valley, and
Ohio Valley. The moisture will aid in creating scattered light rain
showers over parts of the Ohio Valley. By Tuesday, the moisture will
produce showers and severe thunderstorms over parts of the Ohio Valley.
Therefore, the SPC has issued a Slight Risk (level 2/5) of severe
thunderstorms over parts of the Ohio Valley, Middle Mississippi Valley,
and Great Lakes from Tuesday through Wednesday morning. The hazards
associated with these thunderstorms are frequent lightning, severe
thunderstorm wind gusts, hail, and a few tornadoes. Further, on Tuesday,
there is an increased threat of hail two inches or greater over parts of
northern Illinois and Indiana, plus northwestern Ohio.
Moreover, as the strong front moves out of the Rockies onto the Plains,
light to moderate snow will develop over parts of the Northern
Plains/Upper Mississippi Valley on Monday. Moderate to heavy snow will
develop overnight Monday into Tuesday over northern Minnesota. Similarly,
overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, light to moderate snow will develop over
part of the western U.P. of Michigan. Elsewhere, showers and thunderstorms
will move into parts of the Central Appalachians and northern
Mid-Atlantic, with showers and thunderstorms extending into parts of the
Lower Mississippi Valley Tuesday night into Wednesday.
Graphics available at