Rare November blizzard, atmospheric river bringing heavy snowfall and rain to the northern United States


Powerful storm systems are expected to bring heavy rain and snow to the Pacific Northwest and parts of northeastern South Dakota and western Minnesota from Thursday evening. Photo courtesy of NOAA

November 11 (UPI) – A pair of powerful storm systems, including a rare November blizzard, are expected to hit the northern United States from Thursday evening.

Snow storm warnings were in place for parts of northeastern South Dakota and western Minnesota through Friday evening.

Several inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 55 mph could create whiteout conditions and difficult travel in the area, as an intensifying windstorm, sometimes known as the “Witch’s Witch”. November “hits the region.

The warning marks the first time since 2015 South Dakota was placed under blizzard warning in November.

Snow and wind conditions are expected to extend over much of Minnesota, eastern Dakotas and northern Iowa on Thursday, with the most severe conditions extending through Friday morning.

Gusts of up to 70 mph are possible in parts of western South Dakota, although snowfall is not expected.

Snowfall of 2 inches to 4 inches and wind gusts of 40 mph are likely for much of the area, while northern Minnesota could see up to 8 inches of snow.

In the Pacific Northwest, a system known as the Atmospheric River, which draws tropical moisture from the Pacific from as far away as Hawaii, has led to flood watches for western Washington and the Northwestern Oregon as well as Seattle and Portland through Friday.

Seattle could see 1 to 2 inches of rain through Saturday night, while the Olympics and the Stunts are expected to reach 4 to 8 inches at their peak.

The region already experienced 2-4 inch rainfall earlier this week, with several rivers in Washington expected to go from major to moderate flooding levels through Friday.

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