First Snowstorm of Season Brewing: South Dakota to Minnesota
By Mel Fabrikant Tuesday, October 01, 2013, 04:35 PM EDT
Cold air will wrap in behind the reorganizing storm across Montana, Wyoming and northern Colorado. The snow will fall on some areas hit by heavy snow last week. Heavy snowfall may be not limited to the higher elevations but could reach lower elevations in the region.
The storm will strengthen greatly over the northern Plains. As this happens, rain will change to snow.
Heavy snow could fall with gusty winds, from the Black Hills of South Dakota eastward to parts of northern Minnesota by week's end. Travel along I-90 in South Dakota could be especially difficult late in the week if the storm develops to its full potential.
Accumulating snow may reach just north and west of Denver, Colo. Snow is likely in Cheyenne, Wyo.
If even a mere inch of snow falls in northern Minnesota, it would be unusual for the first week in October. The average first measurable snowfall in Duluth, Minn., is not until Oct. 24.
Measurable snow would not be unprecedented, however. The earliest measurable snow for a season in Duluth occurred on Sept. 18, 1991.
Across Colorado, some ski resorts are taking advantage of the cool weather and are already making snow. In preparation for the 2013-14 ski season, Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area plan to make snow for as long as conditions allow, according to a press release by Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA).
Across southeastern Nebraska, Iowa and southern Wisconsin, the air will be too warm for snow, but powerful thunderstorms are a concern. Gusty winds will also be a factor.
As high pressure builds in the wake of the storm over the West, a Santa Ana event could bring damaging winds and raise the risk of wildfires in Southern California late in the week.
As AccuWeather.com meteorologists predicted earlier this year, the fall season has started off wet in the Pacific Northwest.
Waves of downpours will continue to push into the Pacific Northwest through the middle of the week.
Moisture contributed by Typhoon Pabuk brought flooding rain events to the Northwest this past weekend. In addition to wind gusts in excess of 80 mph, parts of Oregon and Washington have been inundated by more than 4 inches of rain.
By Courtney Spamer Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com