Snow to Take Aim at High Plains, Rockies Midweek

After an unseasonably cold first half of April, many living in the Rockies and High Plains are likely desperately trying to “think spring.” Unfortunately, winter isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Another prolonged snow event will take aim at the Rockies and portions of the High Plains starting Tuesday night.

storm system and associated cold front that originated in Canada will push across the Rockies through midweek. Temperatures in the area will remain just high enough during the day that most precipitation will remain just rain for the start of the event.

Snow will begin to fall in earnest overnight Tuesday as temperatures trend below freezing across the region and the storm system begins to strengthen. The bulk of accumulating snow Tuesday night into Wednesday afternoon will fall over portions of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

This storm will bring about travel disruptions for essential workers in the region.

“Essential workers who must venture out on the roadways should use caution as slushy and slippery conditions are expected to develop,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff.

Winds are also anticipated to become gusty over the northern Rockies as the storm continues to strengthen through Wednesday.

“Gusty winds may cause further disruptions due to reduced visibility from blowing and drifting snow,” said Duff.

Locations like Great Falls and Billings, Montana, are forecast to receive 1-3 inches of snow through Wednesday, while the higher elevations of the northern Rockies will receive higher amounts nearing half a foot.

For some context on just how snowy the 2019-2020 snow season has been for the northern Rockies and surrounding areas; Great Falls, Montana, is currently in the midst of their seventh snowiest season since records began in 1892.

The current snowfall total for the 2019-2020 season stands at 99 inches as of April 13. This storm is likely to push that total over the 100-inch mark for the seventh time in their history as AccuWeather meteorologists expect 1-3 inches of snow to fall over the city Tuesday night through Wednesday.

On the other side of the coin, places like Cheyenne, Wyoming, are lagging behind on their average snowfall for the month of April.

“Cheyenne is likely to make up significant ground with is storm,” said Duff.

AccuWeather meteorologists expect a storm total of 6-10 inches of snow to fall over the city Wednesday through Thursday.

By Wednesday evening, accumulating snow will creep into Colorado and the Wasatch Range of Utah.

Heavy snow will target an area from southern Wyoming through central Colorado late Wednesday through Thursday. An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 18 inches is likely to occur in this general area.

Essential workers heading to work and trucks hauling supplies along sections of interstates 25, 70 and 80 will have to travel with extreme caution through Thursday.

Most accumulating snow will wind down over the region later Thursday, but not before blanketing much of Colorado with a general 1-3 inches of snow. Those residing in the higher elevations of the central Rockies will see higher snow totals as well as few persistent snow showers continue into Friday.

As the storm pushes farther to the east late in the week, a swath of rain and wet snow will extend from the middle Mississippi Valley to parts of the Northeast.

In the wake of this system, moderating temperatures are expected for much of the region through the weekend.