After dumping more than a foot of snow across parts of Minnesota, Winter Storm Argos — the season's first major storm — rolled eastward Saturday, threatening to dump up to two feet of snow in parts of western New York and drive temperatures down sharply across the East.
A weather advisory was issued for New York City by The Weather Channel for Saturday night, warning of an incoming cold front, rain and wind gusts of 40 mph or higher.
Aided by a new blast of cold Canadian air, the heaviest snow accumulations through Monday night are expected in the Adirondacks of New York and eastern Great Lakes snowbelts, which could see over a foot, according to the Weather Underground.
The National Weather Service predicts the storm will deliver a light-to-moderate mixture of rain and snow to parts of the northern Mid-Atlantic and northwest New England by Sunday, but the mix will stick to interior areas off the coast, sparing early Thanksgiving travelers on I-95 from Maine to Virginia.
The weather service predicts temperatures could plummet some 30 degrees from Friday's mild weather. "The days of Indian summer are over for now," the weather service said.
As the storm moves across the country's northern tier, winter storm warnings are in effect for portions of northern Michigan, upstate New York and northern Vermont. A winter weather advisory is in effect for parts of Pennsylvania, western Maryland and parts of eastern West Virginia.
AccuWeather meteorologist Jake Sojda warned "roving squalls of snow" could create dangerous diving conditions, from moving, lake-effect snow bands.
"Visibility can go from clear to near zero in just a matter of a couple miles, catching motorists off guard," Sojda said, noting the worst period for travel will be Sunday night.
As the storm seized sections of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest, wind gusts as strong as 79 mph were reported in Jackson, Mich., 71 mph near Summit, S.D., and 59 mph at Minneapolis International Airport, according to The Weather Bug.
Minnesota was particularly hard hit by Winter Storm Argos as it slammed into the Midwest. A spotter for the weather service said nearly 14 inches of snow fell at a location in Cass County by early Friday afternoon, the St. Cloud Times reported.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported 340 crashes statewide from Thursday night through Friday afternoon, 37 involving injuries. Another 559 vehicles spun out or went off the road, according to the St. Cloud Times. There were two fatalities.
Jerimiah Moerke with the Minnesota Department of Transportation said snow and high winds made it difficult for big rigs to get up hills on the interstate around Dalton. Officials said at least one semitrailer jackknifed on Interstate 94 between Fergus Falls and Evansville.
In north-central Minnesota, where 4,000 customers lost power as heavy, wet snow brought down trees and power lines, Crow Wing Power pulled its crews off the roads Friday and temporarily shut down operations because of the dangerous conditions.
"This is the first time in my 26 years at Crow Wing Power that we've ever closed the offices," said Char Kinzer, public relations manager, the Brainerd Dispatch reported. "We've never, ever not allowed crew members to go out after 5 p.m." More crews were being dispatched to restore power Saturday.
In Baxter, Minn., snow fell so hard that firefighters were sent out to hose off traffic signals that were caked with snow and ice at five intersections on Hwy. 371, according to Deputy Chief Dave Cox, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported.
In the West, winter storm warnings are in effect for the southern Cascades, while winter weather advisories are in effect across the Sierra Nevada, according to the National Weather Service.
And by Saturday in parts of Wyoming and southern Montana, 10 to 20 inches of snow had fallen, according to the National Weather service.