Winter Storm Xylia could become eighth storm since September to smash snowfall records when it hits the High Plains region this weekend, and is one of two major storms moving across the country bringing threats of mudslides, flooding rain and tornadoes.
Xylia is set to hit parts of the Rockies and High Plains this weekend, and could beat the all-time snowstorm record in Cheyenne, Wyoming, of 25.6 inches from Nov. 19-21, 1979, The Weather Channel reported.
Photos from nearby Denver, Colorado, show grocery store shelves stripped bare of inventory after buyers stocked up to prepare for the oncoming winter storm. Shoppers were seen searching through scant produce.
Since September, at least 25 locations in the United States have tied or set new snow records, despite The Weather Channel describing this year as a ‘mild winter season overall.’
The slew of records started on Labor Day with an unnamed storm that set or tied all-time earliest-in-season snowfall records for nine cities including Cheyenne; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Two winter storms, Abigail and Billy, in October set monthly and early-in-season records.
Xylia is set to hit parts of the Rockies and High Plains this weekend, and could beat the all-time snowstorm record in Cheyenne, Wyoming
As the second storm moves inland from the Pacific coast and travels across the interior West, it will slow down and intensify. As it does so, it will also tap into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, which will enhance precipitation
Accuweather chart shows how the winter storm Xylia will advance through the High Plains region on Saturday while dumping heavy snow
Accuweather chart shows how the winter storm Xylia will advance through the High Plains region on Sunday while dumping heavy snow
The latest winter storm, named Xylia, could beat Cheyenne’s all-time snowstorm record of 25.6 inches from Nov. 19-21, 1979
The winter storm Xylia is expected to ave parts of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska with snow-covered roads and whiteouts
Accuweather chart shows highways from Pueblo, Colorado to Casper, Wyoming could be covered in up to 60″ of snow
Minneapolis-St. Paul recorded 7.9 inches and Great Falls, Montana, had its snowiest October day on record with 8.2 inches after Abigail, according to The Weather Channel.
Billy became the earliest ice storm on record in Oklahoma, about a week after Abigail, with ice accumulation that knocked out power to more than 400,000 customers.
In December, Winter Storm Gail set record snowfall in the Northeast as Binghamton, New York saw a whopping 40 inches and Williamsport, Pennsylvania recorded 24.7 inches, the outlet reported.
Gail dumped 25.6 inches of snow in Concord, New Hampshire, on Dec. 17 making it he city’s all-time snowiest day – a record which has been in place since a March 1888 blizzard. Albany also had its snowiest December day on record with 19.7 inches.
Winter Storm Orlena, from January into February, dropped more than two feet of snow in parts of the tri-state area as an observer in Mt. Arlington, New Jersey, measured 35.5 inches of snow which would make it a three-day snowfall record for New Jersey if confirmed by a State Climate Extremes Committee.
A pair of winter storms in mid-February, Uri and Viola, set records in Texas and parts of the South as Abilene and San Angelo boasted 9.8 inches and 10.1 inches of snow respectively – making Valentine’s Day 2021 the snowiest single day on record, The Weather Channel reported.
Little Rock, Arkansas tied its all-time record snow depth, which has stood since 1918, when Viola dropped 11.8 inches of snow just two days after Uri dumped more than 8 inches.
With a major snowstorm targeting the intermountain West, inventory dwindles at a grocery store as shoppers stock up on goods in south Denver on Thursday
Shoppers search for produce while only a scant number of onions sit in a display in the produce department of a grocery store
Some areas of the High Plains region are also expected to see heavy rain as Winter Storm Xylia lands this weekend
Right now, parts of Wyoming and Coloardo are under winter storm warnings and watches and no blizzard warning has been given yet
Of the two new storms, the first system has already brought up to a foot of snow to the Dakotas and Minnesota, as well as hail and damaging winds. Tornado warnings are also now in place from Kansas to Minnesota.
Xylia, the second storm, is a slow-moving blockbuster, which hit California hard on Wednesday with one to two inches of rain that triggered a mudslide and prompted evacuations in Silverado Canyon, ABC reported.
Xylia will continue to move east through the Rockies over the next couple of days, which could see Denver hit with one of its biggest snowstorms since 1885, with up to three feet of snow also forecasted to fall in Boulder and Fort Collins.
From Friday through Sunday, areas from west Texas into Oklahoma and Southern Nebraska have been told to brace for severe storms, large hail and tornadoes, and Missouri and Mississippi are expected to be hit with heavy rainfall, making flooding in some areas highly likely.
Two major storms are moving across the country on Thursday, bringing with them threats of mudslides, flooding rain, tornadoes and potentially record-breaking snowfall
The second storm, a slow-moving blockbuster, hit California hard on Wednesday
Rainfall triggered a mudslide in southern California and prompted evacuations in Silverado Canyon (above)
As the second storm moves inland from the Pacific coast and travels across the interior West, it will slow down and intensify. As it does so, it will also tap into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, which will enhance precipitation.
The first round of snow already began falling Wednesday in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota. But the second round, due to hit Friday and reach its peak by Sunday, will make traveling near impossible, with snowfall rates of around 2 to 4 inches per hour.
Wind speeds of more than 45 mph are expected in the region throughout Saturday, ramping up to 60 mph by Sunday, meaning blizzard conditions will be widespread.
In the bullseye of the storm with be Boulder and Colorado, with the heaviest of the snowfall also reaching northward into Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming, and northeastward into Scottsbluff, Nebraska and Rapid City, South Dakota.
Areas from west Texas into Oklahoma and Southern Nebraska will need to brace for severe storms, large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes from Friday through Sunday
In each of these areas, anywhere between two to three feet of snow is likely to fall. Forecast also indicated that isolated locations could pick up as much as 50 inches of snow over the next six days, CBS reported.
‘We will have a chance of eclipsing the seasonal total [of snow] in one storm,’ AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. ‘The storm has the potential to rank among the biggest on record in Denver.’
The biggest storm on record in the Mile High City has stood since 1913, when a four day storm event beginning December 1 unloaded 45.7 inches of snow.
But Denver’s fifth all-time record of 23.0 inches, set on April 23, 1885, could be eclipsed this weekend, as could another record of 31.8 inches set in 2003.
Wind speeds of more than 45 mph are expected in the Rockies throughout Saturday, ramping up to 60 mph by Sunday, meaning blizzard conditions will be widespread
A woman walk along the street covered in mud after a mudslide swept through the neighborhood in Silverado Canyon on Wednesday
‘Are we looking at a true 1 in 100 year event,’ asked meteorologist Jeff Berardelli
Similar to many past heavy snowstorms in this region of the US, it’s caused by something referred to as a cut-off low, when the system is cut off from the forward steering of the jet stream.
In this instance, the storm is tapped beneath a warm ridge of high pressure in Canada which acts as a block, allowing the storm to rage for several days on end.
This type of phenomenon is exactly how Boulder, Colorado, set its all-time heaviest single-day snowfall record 100 years ago, in 1921, where 76 inches fell.
Much like this weekend, a Pacific storm became trapped rapped for days to the south of a stubborn mountain of warm air to its north, according to CBS.
That storm ended producing around 100 inches – or 8.3 feet – of snow in just four days.
‘Are we looking at a true 1 in 100 year event,’ asked meteorologist Jeff Berardelli on Twitter, comparing the starkly similar forecasts for this weekend and from the storm of 1921.
The biggest tornado threat will be from west Texas, near Lubbock, into western Oklahoma. Then on Saturday and Sunday, that threat will shift east towards Dallas and Oklahoma City
The storm will then finally begin to shift on Monday, bringing with it heavy rain for mid-Missouri and mid-Mississippi Valley areas
On the warmer, eastern side of the storm, forecasts show that the system will bring with it the first severe weather event of the season.
Consequently, areas from west Texas into Oklahoma and Southern Nebraska will need to brace for severe storms, large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes from Friday through Sunday. From then, the storm will push east into Arkansas, Missouri and Iowa.
The biggest tornado threat will be from west Texas, near Lubbock, into western Oklahoma. Then on Saturday and Sunday, that threat will shift east towards Dallas and Oklahoma City.
Tornadoes are possible every day for the next four days across the central US, CNN reported.
The storm will then finally begin to shift on Monday, bringing with it heavy rain for mid-Missouri and mid-Mississippi Valley areas.
With the potential for half a foot of rain in some locations, there will be a significant flood threat for these areas that will last into the weekend.
Elsewhere in the country, the East Coast is tipped to have it’s warmest day of the year so far, with temperatures expected to reach into the 70s as far north as New Jersey and New York State.