Parts of the central and western United States could see up to 12 inches of snow on Thursday and into Friday, bringing an end to snow dry spells and disrupting travel plans for others.
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm watches and warnings across seven states as they brace for an influx of winter snowstorms. Parts of Nebraska, Iowa, New Mexico, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Colorado were all under a winter storm watch as of Wednesday afternoon.
Heavy snow, strong winds, freezing precipitation, and cold temperatures could hit the seven states by early Thursday and carry into Friday, the Weather Service said.
The cross-country storm isn’t likely to evolve into a bomb cyclone as others have earlier this year, Accuweather reported, but it’ll likely be strong enough to bring the first significant snow of the season to western mountain ranges like the Colorado Rockies.
For some states, especially those with thriving ski industries, the arrival of snow is highly anticipated and sorely needed.
Denver, Colorado, and Salt Lake City, Utah, have both seen unusually dry winters so far this year, according to Accuweather. On average, Denver sees its first measurable snowfall on Oct. 18 and Salt Lake City on Nov. 7.
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Neither of the skiing meccas has seen measurable snowfall this season, but fresh powder will be a welcome sight as resorts gear up for a busy winter with fewer COVID-19 restrictions.
But the snowstorm could spell bad news for commuters. Slippery roads and low visibility will contribute to hazardous travel conditions, the National Weather Service warned.
Heavy snow in the Wasatch Range and Rockies is likely to slow travel over the higher terrain along Interstate 25, Interstate 70 and Interstate 80 in parts of Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming when the bulk of snow arrives later Thursday into early Friday, according to Accuweather.