The latest models remain in good agreement that a high impact winter storm is on its way to the central Midwest. Heavy snow is expected to develop Friday night and spread southeast Saturday morning. The NE half of Iowa, SW Minnesota, northern Illinois and the SW corner of Wisconsin have the greatest risk of 5-10" snow accumulations. Here's what the Weather Prediction Center shows for odds of specific amounts of 2, 4, 8, and 12".
1" or more:
4" or more:
8" or more:
12" or more:
As of late Thursday, Winter Storm Watches extend over a long stretch that extends from Minnesota to Ohio. By Friday morning much of this area will be upgraded to Winter Storm Warnings.
The NWS in the Quad Cities put out this situation report out for my local area late Thursday. I think the totals will be heavier and a bit further SW based on data since the NWS put this out.
Here are some snowfall forecasts from a number of our short and mid-range models. Note that each model has a different solution for specific amounts. Even so, there is good clustering on where the general band of heavy snow sets up Friday night and Saturday.
The 3k hi-res NAM:
Las but not least, the EURO. It has taken a slight shift SW. That pushes the heavier snow band southwest by 75-100 miles. We'll see if this trend holds in the U.S. models Friday.
Along with the snow, winds will be a factor to reckon with. They begin to ramp up late Friday and will reach gusts of 35-40 Friday night and Saturday. Fortunately the snow will be wet and heavy, so while some drifting is possible, it should be minimized. That needs to watched.
Additionally, where the heaviest wet snow accumulates, it will put pressure on trees and power lines. The strong winds could knock down branches that would disrupt power in spots. This should be limited to those areas where 10" or more inches accumulate.
With less than 24 hours to go before the event begins, we are down to crunch time. Unless something radically changes most of my area is in for what appears to be a high impact winter storm. For some it could be the largest snow since 2011. I look for Winter Storm Warnings to be issued by daybreak Friday. Roll weather...TS