You can trust yourself that this El Niño winter will be a mild season with fewer snow scrapers and snow shovels for 2024.
If so, the events of the past few days — and this weekend's forecast — have now jolted you out of your slumber.
Forecasters say much of the country is in for a cold — and dangerous — three-day weekend as a powerful winter storm is set to bring heavy snow from the Great Lakes to the Northeast. Central Rockies.
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∎ A blizzard warning was issued Friday for South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, according to the weather service.
∎ Roads across eastern Nebraska, Iowa and northern Illinois were “completely” covered in snow, slush or ice, according to a regional map of road conditions Iowa Department of Transportation. The Iowa State Patrol issued a “life-threatening winter weather warning” asking people to stop non-essential travel overnight.
∎ More than 240,000 homes were without power as of 10 a.m. Friday, according to a monitor. Maintained by USA TODAY. Most of the outages were reported in Illinois, where nearly 100,000 utility customers lost power amid freezing temperatures and heavy snow.
∎ Parts of Utah and Wyoming are expected to receive “impressive snowfall” over the weekend. Salt Lake City National Weather Service declared. The region is under a winter storm warning, with up to four feet of snow expected in northern Utah and southwestern Wyoming.
Winter storm forecast for Saturday
The winter storm, which prompted blizzard warnings for the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest on Friday, is forecast to move northeast on Saturday, with up to 2 inches of snow per hour possible as the system exits the region.
Travel can be dangerous, especially with strong winds creating blizzard conditions, and even power outages are possible, forecasters warned.
According to the National Weather Service, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic will also experience heavy rain through Saturday, making coastal and river flooding possible.
The storm's snow production is expected to taper off Saturday, but lake-effect snow will remain in the region through Sunday evening, the weather service said, when white-out conditions are possible.
Brutal cold winds will arrive early next week
Following this weekend's storm, arctic air will descend from western Canada and spread across the Northwest and Northern Plains early next week. The weather service is predicting multiple record-cold temperatures.
Subzero wind chills are expected to drop below minus-30 degrees from the northern Rockies and northern Kansas and Iowa. Montana and the West Dakotas can see temperatures drop to minus -50 degrees, which puts exposed skin at risk of frostbite and hypothermia.