Blizzard, fires, thunderstorms and tornadoes: 18 states could see severe weather this week — The Record Courier

Blizzard, fires, thunderstorms and tornadoes: 18 states could see severe weather this week — The Record Courier

A wild week of weather is on tap for parts of the northern and central U.S.  

Starting Monday, a huge storm will bring blizzard conditions to portions of the northern Plains over the next few days, while also bringing the chance for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to a large chunk of the central U.S. In addition, wildfires are possible across the southern Plains. 

The heaviest snow is expected in Montana, Wyoming and especially the Dakotas from late Monday into Wednesday, AccuWeather said.

“A swath of heavy snow is expected to linger and be slow moving, allowing for perhaps 2-3 feet of snow to pile up in some locations before the snow ends,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. 

The snowstorm could reach historic levels in some areas, such as Grand Forks, North Dakota, where the all-time April record for snow is 17 inches, AccuWeather said. Due to the predicted snow, power outages are likely and “travel will become very difficult to impossible,” said the National Weather Service office in Bismarck, North Dakota. “Travel should be restricted to emergencies only. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you.”

The news isn’t all bad, however, as western North Dakota could use the moisture. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows the region is abnormally dry or in some form of drought. Northwestern North Dakota is in extreme drought, the second-worst category. Snow from this storm has already spread into the Northwest, Weather.com reported.  “Cold temperatures have allowed snow to fall at very low elevations on Monday morning, including in the Portland, Oregon, metro area.”

The 1 inch of snow that fell in Portland on Monday was the first April snow on record for the city, the Weather Service said. Schools were closed across the region and over 50,000 customers were without power due to the storm. 

Charli Arcouette-Martineau