As parts of the Northeast and California started to move on from heavy snow and rain that hit the regions this week, the Plains, Midwest, and South are bracing for dangerous winter weather on Thursday.
Winter storm conditions that stretched from Nebraska to Michigan are expected to bring 7 inches of snow to some areas and intense winds, with the National Weather Service warning that blizzard conditions are possible and travel could be impacted by slick roads and blowing snow.
And in the South, freezing temperatures and frost was expected to blanket a stretch of the country from Virginia to Alabama.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is thundersnow and how does it form:Explaining how a thunderstorm can produce snow
What is lake effect snow? Here’s how it happens and how much snow it can bring with it.
Winter storm conditions hit Plains, Midwest
Snow and rain was expected to spread across the Plains and Midwest on Thursday, extending across states from Nebraska to Michigan.
A winter storm warning is in effect in parts of Iowa and Nebraska on Thursday, with blizzard conditions possible, according to the National Weather Service in Omaha, Nebraska. Up to 7 inches of snow is expected and winds gusting as high as 55 mph.
Travel could be “very difficult,” especially Thursday morning, the weather service warned.
A winter storm watch is also in effect from Thursday evening through Saturday in parts of Michigan, as the state prepares for lake effect snow in the coming days. Snowfall accumulations could reach over 6 inches, with winds also gusting up to 50 mph.
- What is lake effect snow? Lake effect snow can develop from bands of clouds that form when dry, arctic air passes over a large lake. The conditions can be brief, lasting for a few minutes or continue for several days.
What is wind chill? Understanding the wind chill index and how it’s calculated
What is an ‘atmospheric river’? These rivers of water vapor can extend thousands of miles.
Freezing temperatures, frost advisories target the South
A stretch of the Southeast from Virginia to Alabama is expecting freezing and frost conditions on Thursday morning, with temperatures reaching as low as 25 degrees in some areas.
A freeze warning is in effect on Thursday morning in:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
The weather service warned that frost and freeze conditions can kill crops and potentially damage outdoor plumbing. To prevent outdoor pipes from bursting, they “should be wrapped, drained or allowed to drip slowly.”
Winter storm tracker
National weather radar
Contributing: Doyle Rice, USA TODAY