LA CROSSE, Wis - High Today: 49° / Low Tonight: 32º - Last updated Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 6:17 PM...
A powerful winter storm will track from Colorado to northern Missouri tomorrow morning, then to lower Michigan tomorrow evening.
A BLIZZARD WARNING has been issued for all of southeastern Minnesota from tonight through 6am Saturday. A WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued for the north half of the viewing area, including Eau Claire and La Crosse. This warning also continues through 6am Saturday. Farther south... a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY has been issued through 6am Saturday for Vernon county and points south.
A mix of rain and snow will overspread the region this evening. The rain and snow mix will change to al snow in La Crosse by mid to late evening. The snow could be heavy at times, with snow rates of 1"-2" per hour possible. Farther south, look for a wintry mix, which could cause a glaze of ice. In addition to the snow, northeast winds gusting to between 30 and 35 mph will cause significant blowing and drifting of snow, as well as white out conditions. Travel will become extremely dangerous late tonight, especially across the I-90 corridor and points north and west.
Snow and wind will continue into Friday. We may see a period of lighter snow or even some freezing drizzle early on. However... we'll see another band of snow roll through during the afternoon and evening. The snow will finally come to an end late Friday night or Saturday morning. Once again, strong NW winds 15-35 mph will cause blowing and drifting of any snow that falls. This could especially be the case over parts of Southern Minnesota & Northern Iowa. The combination of heavy snow and strong winds will cause near impossible travel at times, especially over southern Minnesota into west central Wisconsin. We cold see many rural roads closed do to drifting snow.
As far as snow totals are concerned, the heaviest snow will fall across southeastern Minnesota, where up to 16" are possible in spots. east of the Mississippi River, amounts will generally range from 7"-12". Farther south, snow amounts of 1"-4" look likely. These amounts may need to be tweaked as the system evolves.
This is a dangerous storm system and should be taken seriously. This is also a fluid situation and we may need to tweak the forecast throughout the evening and overnight. It is very important to remain weather aware tonight and tomorrow.
Looking Ahead... Several weaker disturbances will zip across the region Sunday through Thursday of next week with at least slight chances for precipitation. High temps will mainly be in the 30s, with lows in the teens and 20s... which is more typical for this time of year. At this time, it looks like slight chances for light snow or flurries on Sunday. Temps could climb into the low 40s Tuesday, so there could be a rain/snow mix. Also chances for light snow or flurries Wednesday and Thursday. Overall, a fairly active pattern next week.
Have a great night and hunker down!! -Cory Malles