An intense, dangerous major snowstorm is developing in the U.S. Southwest, expected to dump more than a foot of snow in some areas.
A potentially life-threatening blizzard will hammer cities from NM to KS with blinding snow and biting winds. Travel should be avoided, The Weather Channel is reporting.
The storm will bring snow through the Midwest and Northeast before ending, but it's the Southwest that is expected to be particularly hard less than a week before Christmas a holiday travel begins for some. The storm is still devloping, and the total impact is unclear, but it does appear late Sunday afternoon that into Monday parts of the region could get hammered.
The storm is moving eastern aftering being in Baja California late Saturday, churning up moisture as it moves across the U.S. Southest. Forecasters say the storm will bring heavy snow, high winds, falling temps and biting wind chills, to the region.
Suffice to say, this is a dangerous and life-threatening storm for those stuck outside in the elements, reports The Weather Channel.
As for timing, the storm will crank up late Sunday night, peaking in intensity in the Southwest and High Plains Monday before tapering off Tuesday as the system moves into the Midwest and Northeast. Areas where blizzard conditions are likely include: New Mexico, Texas (panhandle), Colorado (southeast), Oklahoma (panhandleand Kansas (southwest).
Wind chills are expected to dip into single digits during the storm, as northerly winds as the system cranks up pour much colder air in. The cold air will change the rain to heavy snow by Monday afternoon from Amarillo, Texas, through Guymon, Okla., and Dodge City, Kan., according to Accuweather forecaster Brian Edwards.
As far as snowfall accumulations go, the higher elevations of the southern Colorado Rockies through the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico could receive 6-12 inches of new snowfall before all is said and done, Edwards writes at Accuweather. Farther east, in some of the more populated zones, a swath of 6-12 inches will be the rule from southeastern Colorado through the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles into southwestern Kansas. Cities such as Guymon, Dodge City, and Dalhart lie in this zone. A narrow area in the aforementioned zone could see over a foot of snow. Snow will come down heavy at times with rates up to 2/hour creating near-blizzard conditions.
The National Weather Service in Amarillo, Texas issues a blizzard watch Sunday afternoon for the panhandle regions of Texas and Oklahoma through Tuesday morning.
HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG NORTH WINDS WILL IMPACT THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE... AND NORTHERN AND WESTERN TEXAS PANHANDLE... MONDAY INTO TUESDAY MORNING. STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 15 INCHES ARE LIKELY. THE HIGHEST TOTALS... IN THE 12 TO 15 INCH RANGE... WILL BE FOUND ACROSS THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE AND NORTHWEST TEXAS PANHANDLE. NORTH WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH BEHIND THE COLD FRONT ON MONDAY... PRODUCING BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW AND PERIODS OF WHITEOUT CONDITIONS.
* TIMING... RAIN WILL TRANSITION TO SNOW FROM NORTHWEST TO SOUTHEAST ON MONDAY... WITH ALL SNOW EXPECTED BY EARLY MONDAY EVENING. THE SNOW WILL CONTINUE MONDAY NIGHT... BEFORE ENDING FROM SOUTHWEST TO NORTHEAST TUESDAY MORNING. THE STRONG NORTH WINDS WILL DEVELOP MONDAY AND CONTINUE THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT... BEFORE DIMINISHING TUESDAY MORNING.