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‘Saskatchewan screamer’ leaves a foot of snow for some in Midwest

‘Saskatchewan screamer’ leaves a foot of snow for some in Midwest
Written by Publishing Team

January. 15 (UPI) – A blizzard preparing to traverse the Southeast and Northeast with snow, ice and rain has begun its journey into the Northern Plains and Midwest, having already fallen a foot or more of snow across the region, resulting in perilous travel.

Winter storm warnings and monitoring are in place from eastern North Dakota to northern Missouri before heavy snow falls. Fargo, N.D.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Des Moines, Iowa, in these alerts.

While some may be familiar with the “Alberta Clipper,” this system originated in Canada as the “Saskatchewan Scream.”

“The Saskatchewan screecher is similar to the Alberta mowing machine, except that it forms in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan,” explained Jessica Storm, a meteorologist at AccuWeather.

As the cold air settled, the rain began as snow and reached North Dakota Thursday evening before expanding to Minnesota and eastern South Dakota through Thursday night.

By Friday afternoon, Fargo had already recorded more than 3 inches of snow in some areas. In northeastern South Dakota, the city of Millbank recorded 10 inches of snow by Friday night. Karlsruhe and Velva, ND, reported snow on foot by the end of Friday.

To the south, the Ames, Iowa areas were beginning to see snow totals of more than a foot by Saturday morning as the snow continued to fall. Alguna, Iowa, reported snow as of Saturday morning. Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday broke the record for daily snowfall of 5.7 inches set in 1930, by accumulating 9.8 inches of snow.

Minnesota’s highest achievers include Garvin with 10 inches of snow and Granite Falls with 9 inches.

Impressively cool air will continue to produce high percentage snow. This means that it won’t take a lot of moisture to produce great snowfall totals. During the weekend, snow could fall at a rate of 1 inch to 3 inches per hour, which would greatly increase the risk of anyone being stranded on the roads.

The bridges were already icy in the Des Moines area, with some roads east of Des Moines completely covered in snow on Friday, Gillian Angelin of AccuWeather said.

“It’s not entirely inconceivable that it measures just a few points over a foot of snow,” Storm said.

With snow not ending until Saturday morning in much of Iowa, most of the state can expect anywhere from 6 inches to 12 inches of snow.

While Fargo, Minneapolis and Des Moines have had multiple storms that have already accumulated snow this winter, this has not necessarily been the case in Missouri. St. Louis did not receive its first accumulated snowfall until January 2, and that was just 0.1 inch. After soaring 59 degrees on Wednesday, the gate turned west to return to reality as snow began falling late Friday night and continued into Saturday morning. It is expected that there will be 3-6 inches before all is said and done in the city, providing the first significant snowfall of the 2021-22 winter season.

Regardless of the exact snowfall totals for any given location, travelers will need to factor extra time into their plans.

“Delays are likely on roads and airports, and motorists will need to slow down and plan additional travel time to reach their destination,” Storm said.

Strong winds may also cause snow to blow and drift during a storm.

Some of the more dangerous conditions may move to the Northern Plains and Midwest after the snow ends, as the region’s freezing air spills. It will be core hail south Saturday night. Locations as far south as southern Iowa and northeastern Missouri may fall below zero.

After snow reached Missouri on Friday evening, the storm will continue to plow the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers in the middle of the country on Saturday.

Wind gusts are also expected in this area, with winds of 30 to 40 mph from southern Missouri to Mississippi and western Tennessee on Saturday. Winds with rain at first, and later snow, will reduce visibility for anyone on the roads.

The strongest winds are expected on the southwest side of the storm, across parts of the Central and Southern Plains, where winds of more than 40 mph are expected. Saturday’s gale-force winds may increase the risk of wildfires in areas that do not catch snow. Wind gusts from western and central Kansas to central Texas will repeat at 40 to 60 mph with locally higher bursts.

Cold waves are likely to target the northern plains and midwest over the next week, including another cold wave likely in the middle of the week. Fortunately, so far, no other big snows are in the forecast for most of next week. However, a few bouts of light snow will be possible.

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