Early-Week Storm Bringing Blizzard Conditions, Thunderstorms and Big Temperature Changes to Central U.S.

Linda Lam
Published: December 4, 2017

A potent low-pressure system is tracking eastward to begin this week, spreading rain, thunderstorms, snow and strong winds through the central and eastern states. Blizzard conditions are accompanying this storm in parts of the northern Plains.

In addition to the chance for precipitation, a big temperature change will be ushered in behind the cold front associated with this system.

(MORE: Major Weather Pattern Change Ahead)

This weather system brought snow to the Mountain West over the weekend and is now tracking through the central states. The low-pressure system will continue to slide eastward and is expected to push off the East Coast midweek.

Current Radar, Winds and Temperatures

Blizzard warnings are posted for parts of the eastern Dakotas and northwest Minnesota, where snow and wind gusts up to 55 mph will create dangerous travel conditions into Monday evening. Various winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings are also in effect from the northern Plains to northern Minnesota.

Current Winter Watches, Warnings and Advisories

Whiteout conditions were observed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Monday evening as heavy snow combined with wind gusts up to 60 mph.

Snow and wind from this weather system prompted a closure of Interstate 80 in southeast Wyoming Monday morning, from Rawlins to Laramie.

Stretches of interstates 29, 90 and 94 in the northern Plains will also be affected by snow and wind through Monday evening.

(MAPS: 10-Day Forecast)

Wintry, Windy and Wet Forecast

Through Monday Night

  • An area of low pressure will track through the upper Midwest and into the Great Lakes with its cold front pushing through the Plains and into parts of the Midwest.
  • Accumulating snow is expected behind this system in parts of the northern Plains and upper Mississippi Valley, from the Dakotas into portions of northern and central Minnesota.
  • Blizzard conditions, with wind gusts up to 55 mph and low visibilities, are expected in portions of the eastern Dakotas and northwest Minnesota. Snow and gusty winds will also affect travel in other parts of the northern Plains and upper Midwest.
  • Rain and a few thunderstorms will stretch from the Great Lakes into eastern Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley.
  • A few strong to marginally severe thunderstorms are possible through Monday evening from central Illinois through Missouri, eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. The main severe threat is expected to be gusty winds. 

(FORECAST: Minneapolis | St. Louis | Dallas | Little Rock)

Monday Night's Forecast


  • This low-pressure system is expected to migrate into eastern Canada, with a trailing cold front stretching from northern New England to the Gulf Coast.
  • The chance of rain will be found from the Northeast to the South, with a few thunderstorms likely near the Gulf Coast.
  • Lake-effect snow is expected in the northern Great Lakes.
  • Snow and wind will linger in northern Minnesota early in the day.
  • It will also turn notably colder from the mid-Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley and interior Northeast as the front plows through.
  • Windy conditions will also persist from the Plains into the Great Lakes region, adding to the chill in the air.

(FORECAST: Burlington, Vermont | Pittsburgh | Nashville | New Orleans)

Tuesday's Forecast


  • The cold front will likely push off the East Coast, with the possible exception of southern Florida.
  • The risk of rain will once again stretch along parts of the Eastern Seaboard (early in the day) south to the Gulf Coast, possibly as far west as southern Texas.
  • Lake-effect snow is likely over much of the Great Lakes snowbelts. Heavy lake-effect snow will affect the Buffalo metro area.
  • It will turn sharply colder in parts of the Northeast, Tennessee Valley and South.

(FORECAST: Syracuse, New York | Boston | Washington D.C. | Atlanta)

Wednesday's Forecast

Most areas will likely experience 1 to 5 inches of snow accumulation in the northern Plains and upper Midwest through early Tuesday. Heavier totals of 6 inches or more are most likely to be found in northern Minnesota.

Rainfall and Snowfall Forecast

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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