A Leap Day blizzard will hit portions of the Dakotas and Minnesota hard with heavy snow and will head straight to Upper Michigan, creating severe drifting snow and very low visibility to close out February 2012.
February 29 happens only once every four years, so blizzards on this date are much more rare than any other day in the winter.
The WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect from 4 AM Wednesday until 1 AM EST Thursday for Central Upper Michigan.
The National Weather Service says to expect HAZARDOUS WEATHER…
* SNOW WILL DEVELOP LATE TONIGHT…AND THEN QUICKLY BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES WEDNESDAY MORNING. THE SNOW WILL BEGIN TO DIMINISH WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.
* STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL BY LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT WILL RANGE FROM 6 TO 10 INCHES…WITH THE MAJORITY OF THE ACCUMULATION OCCURRING BY MID AFTERNOON WEDNESDAY.
* GUSTY WINDS OUT OF THE EAST MAY PRODUCE SOME PATCHY BLOWING SNOW.
* BECAUSE THE SNOW WILL BE WET AND HEAVY…ROADS WILL BE ESPECIALLY SLIPPERY…MAKING FOR VERY HAZARDOUS TRAVEL WEDNESDAY. PLOWING AND SHOVELING OF SNOW WILL ALSO BE MORE DIFFICULT.
* VISIBILITIES WILL BE SHARPLY REDUCED DURING PERIODS OF HEAVY SNOW.
As the storm rolls northeastward across the Plains, intermittent snow will break out well ahead of the main storm over the Dakotas and portions of Minnesota today. Little or no accumulation may result initially in most areas due to the light nature of the snow and the snow hitting during the day.
However, things will change as the storm causes precipitation to ramp up and road surfaces cool tonight.
For a larger snowfall forecast map is available on AccuWeather.com’s Winter Weather Site.