Winter storms set to bring snow, ice and gusty winds to parts of U.S. over weekend

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Two back-to-back winter storms are expected to bring snow, ice and gusty winds to parts of the U.S. starting this weekend as meteorological spring sets in.

On Saturday and Sunday, a storm system making its way across the middle of the country is expected to bring the risk of both wintry weather and severe storms.

"As the dynamic Front Range system strengthens over the next 48 hours it will generate a swath of light to moderate snowfall over the Northern Plains to the Upper Midwest," the National Weather Service said Friday.

There will also be a chance for accumulating freezing rain over parts of the Upper Midwest extending from southern Minnesota through northern Wisconsin and into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan over the weekend, according to the weather service.

Some isolated areas could see more than a quarter of an inch of ice, it said, advising weekend weather travel precautions.

The weather service said high pressure off the backside of the system could bring frigid air to the Northern/Central Plains Saturday and Sunday, while troughing in the west is expected to bring moderate to heavy mountain snow for parts of the Sierra, Great Basin and Central/Southern Rockies.

The snowfall is expected to pick up in intensity and coverage from the Rockies to the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest Saturday, with a large area of sleet and freezing rain also possible.

Severe storms are also expected to impact parts of Indiana and Missouri.

On Sunday, snow is expected to be confined to the northern Great Lakes. More severe storms are possible across the Southern Plains into the Tennessee Valley, however.

Parts of northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula may also see moderate to significant freezing rain, potentially impacting weekend travel.

According to the weather service, a warm front is expected to continue to bring warm air to the Great Plains and Southeast on Friday before expanding into the Midwest on Saturday and East on Sunday.

A dryline expected to develop within the warm airmass coupled with windy surface conditions could also produce a "critical fire weather risk" across parts of southern eastern New Mexico, the Texas/Oklahoma panhandle, southeast Colorado and much of Kansas over the weekend, the weather service warned.