US weather forecast: Two freak winter storms to smash America with blizzards and inches of snow

NOAA blizzard and winter storm warnings

NOAA blizzard and winter storm warnings are in place

Nathan Rao

By Nathan Rao

Published: 25/03/2024

- 14:00

A ‘powerful and dynamic’ storm blitz will leave parts of the US under inches of snow as the nation braces for a late winter ‘whiteout’.

The freak storm system will sweep central and northern states this week pushing temperatures 30F below than normal, experts warn.

Strong winds and blizzards through the coming days have sparked warnings for to avoid all but emergency travel.

Drifting snow threatens to bury parts of the region under an eight-inch winter carpet, despite this week being the first of spring.

It comes as two winter storms–Ronnie and Sawyer–join forces through the end of March to unleash a double assault.

Weather Channel meteorologist Linda Lam said: “A strong area of low pressure will move through central parts of the US on Sunday and through Tuesday.

Winter alerts in place across swaths of the US

Winter alerts in place across swaths of the US


“In parts of the Northern Plains, it could bring heavy snow and the potential for blizzard conditions.

“It will be a rude start to spring for some areas that have struggled to see much snowfall over winter.”

The two storms were named at the weekend, with the second, Sawyer, to continue its path of destruction today.

Worst hit will be the Northern and Central Plains, and the Midwest with 60mph winds to whip up crippling blizzards.

Ronnie hit the Northeast and the Midwest at the weekend, although Sawyer threatens a heftier punch.

Ms Lam said: “For the Midwest, it was mainly a light appetizer round ahead of the second winter storm, and the Weather Channel has named the second storm of this late March blitz ‘Winter Storm Sawyer’.

Snowfall forecast

Snowfall is forecast to fall across the US as two freak storms clash


“The Northern and Central Plains will get more snow on Monday, and some of this could linger in the Upper Midwest into Tuesday.

“Parts of the Plains are under blizzard warnings with gusts of 60mph expected and whiteout conditions.”

Storm Ronnie dumped two feet of snow and left parts of New England glazed under sheets of ice.

The National Weather Service (NOAA) has issued winter storm warnings largely across Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Separate winter storm alerts are in place in California, although the main risk to the west of the US is rain.

Separate blizzard warnings are in force in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado.

The warnings will remain into mid-week, with accumulations of between two and six inches of snow expected.

The NOAA has urged that travel should be ‘restricted to emergencies only’, with winter survival kits recommended for those who must venture out.

A spokesman said: “A potent [low-pressure system] will continue fuelling a powerful and dynamic winter storm across the Great Plains and Upper Midwest over the next couple days.

“Strong winds and heavy, wet snow on trees and power lines may damage trees and cause power outages.

“There is a high chance of at least eight inches of snow extending from northern Nebraska and central South Dakota north-eastward to central Minnesota and north-western Wisconsin.”

While snowfall at this time of year is far from uncommon, the heaviest downpours will hit regions that have so far escaped unscathed.

Accuweather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said: “A storm capable of triggering both severe weather and wind-driven heavy snow simultaneously is not uncommon during March.

“However, this will be a rare storm for the past cold weather season over portions of the North Central states, where snowfall has been lean.”

You may like