Winter storm to encase 1,700-mile stretch of US in ice, snow

AccuWeather Global Weather Center – January 8, 2020– A storm will serve as a reality check for millions of Americans this weekend, following a stretch of springlike warmth expected to challenge records. Wintry precipitation is forecast to overspread a 1,700-mile corridor of the United States, spanning from the Central to Northeastern regions.

The same storm system that will bring the threat for severe thunderstorms and flooding rain across the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys will also pose a threat for accumulating snow and ice beginning this weekend.

After the weather system tracks through the Northwest at midweek, it will intensify and tap into the available energy from an unusually warm and humid air mass surging out of the Gulf of Mexico.

A heavy rain threat will first expand across the mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday, then the threat for accumulating snow and ice will soon thereafter threaten portions of the Plains and Midwest while colder air seeps southeastward.

"The setup will result in a very tight weather contrast zone, where rainy conditions, snow and/or ice can all occur," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. "Temperatures over this same 100-mile cross section can range from the balmy 50s and 60s F to the 20s and 30s," he added.

Beginning around the Friday evening commute, there may be a narrow corridor from northeastern Oklahoma, eastern Kansas into northern Missouri where atmospheric conditions allow for freezing rain to fall.

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