A rare sight in California’s high desert stuns locals.
The final weekend of February will deliver a wild potpourri of weather as winter and spring do battle across the United States.
Blizzard conditions are possible in the Upper Midwest Saturday and Sunday as a potent winter storm hammers the region. Portions of Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan should see 8-12 inches of snow, while parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan could pick up 20 inches.
Snow-weary Minneapolis could see several inches, adding to its record February snowfall of 31.7 inches.
Freezing rain will also bring icy misery and dismal travel conditions to much of Wisconsin and northern Michigan.
The Weather Channel has named the storm Winter Storm Quiana. No other private meteorological companies, nor the National Weather Service, uses that name.
In addition to the snow, temperatures will drop to 20 degrees below zero overnight Sunday into Monday in the northern Plains. Wind chills will approach 40 below zero in North Dakota.
Farther south, the U.S. will also see its first significant tornado threat of the year this weekend.
On Saturday, an outbreak of severe weather will unleash strong winds and a few tornadoes to the Mid-South. Eastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, and southwestern Tennessee are the areas at highest risk, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
The metro area most at risk for dangerous severe storms is Memphis.
Other parts of the South will endure ongoing rounds of drenching rain and the potential for more flooding, all the way from Arkansas to West Virginia. Over 20 million people are at risk for floods.
The Tennessee River could crest at a level unseen in decades.
Already, dozens of school districts were closed Friday due to flooding.
Meanwhile, the winter storm will also unleash ferocious winds across the central and eastern U.S. On Saturday, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas will see the strongest winds.
Winds will be especially strong for the Great Lakes states and Northeast on Sunday. Wind gusts of up to 75 mph could knock down trees, cut power and lead to travel problems.
“For some, it may seem more like an inland hurricane, rather than a winter storm,” said Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist.
The storm has already wreaked havoc in the western U.S, bringing rare snowfalls to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Tucson the past few days. Flagstaff, Arizona, was buried with nearly 3 feet of snow just on Thursday alone, which was the city’s snowiest day on record, the weather service said.
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