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Major blizzard to cause travel difficulties throughout the Midwest

January 31, 2011

10%, 40% and 70% probabilities for snow amounts > 12 inches

A large and powerful storm system will affect the local area over the next 48 hours. Storm total estimates for the coming blizzard range from 1.1-1.4″ of water, and anywhere from 8-14″ of snow. Depending on the evolution of the storm, up to 18″ of snow may fall between Monday morning and Wednesday afternoon. Totals on the higher end of the scale would result tomorrow’s storm becoming one of the top 10 storms in recorded history.

A blizzard watch is in effect from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon. Winds of 30-40 mph will make the snow difficult to measure, and will result in near-zero visibility in open areas. Thunder may be possible during the strongest portion of the storm, and travel may become impossible Wednesday morning.

Snow totals may be limited by the strong winds, which would prevent the growth of snowflakes, or by a dry slot rotating north through the area, or by subtle changes in the track of the low pressure system. Nonetheless, this storm is expected to significantly disrupt travel and commerce across a wide swath of the U.S. from Oklahoma City northeast to Chicago, and east-northeast to the New England region.

Snowfall updates will be posted on this blog periodically.

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