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December 22, 2009 / Dave Gorham

Winter Storm Means Holiday Travel Problems for the Plains and Midwest

A winter storm is on track to move through the Northern and Central Plains starting Wednesday through the holiday weekend. Large amounts of snow are anticipated and for many, travel delays should be expected.



Snow is expected to begin in the Northern and Central Plains Wednesday with a period of rain mixing with freezing rain and sleet before turning over to snow from eastern Nebraska, Iowa, southern Wisconsin and Illinois. Ice accumulations of a quarter of an inch or less are possible. The snow will spread into the Midwest on Christmas Eve and into the Western Great Lakes Christmas Day. Look for the snow to come to an end Saturday. 


As for snow amounts, the forecast calls for a large area of snow accumulations in excess of 6-8 inches from northeastern Colorado, northern Kansas, Nebraska, northern Iowa, the Dakotas, Minnesota and western Wisconsin. It should be great for making snowmen!




The highest totals are expected through northeastern Nebraska, eastern South Dakota, northwestern Iowa and southwestern Minnesota where 1-2 feet will be possible.


A little farther south around Omaha, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Madison and northwestern Chicago, accumulations are a little more uncertain as sleet and freezing rain mix in at times. Look for possibly 2-4 inches of snow with isolated amounts as high as 8-12 inches.



Be aware that the track of the system could shift around a little bit and that would impact the type and amounts of precipitation a location would see. This winter storm is likely to cause travel problems for travelers this holiday weekend. If flying check ahead with the airline and if driving be very careful on the roadways due to snow and possible ice.


Be safe and Happy Holidays everyone!!





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