Snow in Northern Plains as cold shot heads towards East Coast


Radar image Thursday morning showing snow in eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota

It’s snowing now in eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, where some areas could receive upwards of half a foot.

“There’s little doubt that 5-10” of heavy, wet snow will fall on northwestern Minnesota by midday Friday,” writes Star Tribune meteorologist Paul Douglas.

Winter storm warnings cover the northern Red River Valley of northwest Minnesota into tonight. In Grand Forks, North Dakota - near the Minnesota border, the 9 a.m. (CDT) observation indicated moderate snow and 33 degrees.

Totals so so far include 2” in Grand Forks and 3” in Dickinson.

Although it may seem early for such substantial snow in this region, the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks says this is not particularly unusual.

Based on the climatological record available, measurable snow is not at all uncommon in early October. In fact, a glance through the data show that measurable snows have occurred in September


Snow cover over northern Plains and northern Rockies (NOAA)

The snow will exit this region by Friday moving up into Canada, but the cold front out ahead of it will continue to plow southeastward.


Cold front as of Friday night (National Weather Service)

Chicago is expected to have a high temperature of 82 today, but just 54 Friday along with gusty northwest winds behind the front.

By Saturday, the front will reach the East Coast with one more day of 70s and 80s before they are replaced by 50s and 60s Sunday.


Forecast temperature comparison Friday vs. Sunday in the mid-Atlantic

In Washington, D.C., highs Saturday will reach well into the 70s before struggling to reach 60 Sunday as the jet stream will have carved out a huge trough over eastern North America, allowing cold air to plunge southeastward.


Sunday jet stream
Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.

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