Weekend weather includes snow, tornadoes and critical fire threat

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“A strong storm system will move from the southwestern United States into the Midwest this weekend, spreading critical weather conditions of fire, snow and even the potential for severe weather in its path,” said Chad Myers, CNN meteorologist.

Severe storms are expected for 50 million people in the Mid-South and Midwest, which typically see fewer such events this time of year. The main threats are damaging winds, although a few tornadoes and hail are also possible.

Iowa, including Des Moines, can expect severe storms Saturday, mostly in the afternoon and evening. Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; and Madison, Wisconsin could also see severe storms on Saturday.

“It’s rare to have extreme weather this far north this early in the year, but it’s not unprecedented,” said Bill Bunting, chief of forecast operations at the Storm Prediction Center. “It certainly doesn’t happen every year.”

Typically in March, severe weather is concentrated in the Gulf Coast states from Texas to Florida. For example, Texas averages 11 tornadoes in March, while Iowa typically only sees two.

By Sunday, the severe storms will move south, with the greatest threats from Paducah, Kentucky, toward Dallas. These storms are primarily likely to strike late Sunday afternoon through Monday morning, with a few possible tornadoes, as well as damaging winds.

While most places won’t see a huge amount of rain, flooding will still be a concern in areas along the Ohio River Valley, especially in Kentucky, where the ground is still a month wet. very wet February. With several rivers still above flood stage, weekend rainfall could prolong flooding on major rivers and renew flooding on smaller creeks and creeks.

The weekend’s interesting weather pattern is due to a cold front producing wintry weather across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. As the front dips south into the Mississippi Valley, it will encounter temperatures 20 to 30 degrees above normal.

“The abnormally warm air mass that has settled in this week will allow the ‘warm sector’ of the storm (which will feature thunderstorms and the potential for severe weather) to extend into Iowa and southern Minnesota, which is unusually far north for this early spring,” CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

Winter is not over yet

Meanwhile, parts of the Upper Midwest — where temperatures are even more like winter — will have to deal with snow, sleet and freezing rain.

“Saturday is not going to be the ideal day to drive,” the National Weather Service office told Marquette, Michigan, tweeted.

Areas of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota will see various types of precipitation over the weekend. Many locations will receive a mix of snow, ice pellets and freezing rain on Saturday morning before changing to rain or freezing rain as the temperature warms up in the afternoon.

From Saturday evening to Sunday morning, the precipitation will return to snow and sleet as temperatures drop back below freezing.

It will be a relatively fast system, without much time to dump a significant amount of snow. Most areas of Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will pick up 2-5 inches, with isolated spots 6-8 inches.

From Kansas City to Milwaukee and east to Knoxville, Tennessee, temperatures will be 20 to 30 degrees above normal on Saturday. Once the front has passed, these temperatures will drop sharply.

How cold will it be in your city?

For example, Chicago will go from a high temperature Saturday in the mid-60s through Monday to highs in the mid-30s, with a chance of snow showers.

St. Louis will experience a similar decline, ranging from the mid-70s for a Saturday high through Monday to highs in the mid-40s.

Heat and wind could start fires

Further west, high and critical fire weather conditions are expected this weekend in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas.

“Winds of 20 to 30 mph are expected with locally higher speeds possible,” according to the Storm Prediction Center. “Relative humidity of 15-20% is likely, although values ​​close to 10% are not excluded.”

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued a disaster emergency declaration on Thursday “due to the potential for wildfires in the state on Friday and Saturday,” according to a news release.

“Strong winds and low relative humidity with an abundance of dry vegetation will once again bring extreme fire danger to central Kansas Saturday afternoon,” according to the National Weather Service Office in Topeka.

Kelly urged “all Kansans to be vigilant”.

Abnormally warm temperatures that began Friday in the southern plains will move east and south over the weekend.

Record high temperatures are possible in more than 40 towns from Mississippi to Massachusetts this weekend, but it won’t last long. On Wednesday, most cities return to normal or below normal temperatures and remain there for the rest of the week.



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