A massive storm is bringing a mix of wild weather to the central and southern U.S. this weekend, including blizzard conditions in the Midwest and the chance for tornadoes in the Southeast.
The snowstorm will likely be at its strongest later Saturday and into Sunday, AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. The heaviest snow is expected in the Dakotas and Minnesota. “Strengthening winds will greatly lower the visibility and cause extensive blowing and drifting snow,” he said.
Wind gusts of up to 45 mph are likely, weather.com meteorologist Linda Lam said, which could result in reduced visibility, drifting snow and blizzard conditions in some locations in the northern Plains.
Roads will quickly become slick and snow-covered once the snow starts falling, AccuWeather said. Travel this weekend could be difficult at times, the National Weather Service warned.
At least another foot of snow could paste winter-weary Minneapolis, which has already seen over 5 feet of snow this season. “This will be a heavy, wet snow and add extra stress to buildings, which could lead to roof collapses,” the weather service said.
The weather service in North Dakota issued a “cold advisory for newborn livestock” because of the severity of the forecast.
Winds from the storm will howl around the Great Lakes states on Sunday; gusts of 60 to 70 mph are possible in Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo, New York.
Meanwhile, another outbreak of severe weather and tornadoes is taking aim on the Deep South on Saturday. The areas at highest risk include Arkansas, southern Missouri, northern Mississippi and western Tennessee, the Storm Prediction Center said.
Memphis is the city most at risk for severe weather Saturday. The city and the area around it is under an “enhanced risk” for severe storms, which is level 3 on the 1-5 scale of risk areas.
“The full spectrum of severe weather is anticipated, ranging from damaging wind gusts, large hail and frequent lightning strikes to flash flooding and tornadoes,” according to AccuWeather meteorologist Kayla St. Germain.
“The greatest period of concern is from early Saturday afternoon into Saturday night,” St. Germain said.
Alabama, where the worst of last weekend’s devastating outbreak hit, is not in the highest risk area for severe weather this weekend.
Last Sunday, at least 39 tornadoes hit the Southeast, the weather service said. The worst was the EF4 twister that roared through Lee County, Alabama, with 170 mph winds, killing 23 people and injuring 90.
Unfortunately, looking ahead to early next week, yet another big storm will again deliver a mix of snowy and stormy weather to the central United States.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wild weather weekend to bring blizzard for Midwest, possible tornadoes in Southeast