Weekend winter storm: Gia to Spread Snow and Ice From the Plains (Reports).

Winter Storm Gia will spread a swath of snow and some ice from parts of the Rockies, Plains and Midwest to the mid-Atlantic into this weekend, making travel a challenge in these areas.

Gia was named late Thursday afternoon as the number of people in winter storm warnings surpassed 2 million, the population criteria used to trigger naming this winter storm.

Snow continues to fall in the Rockies of Colorado and northern New Mexico. To the east, a pocket of freezing rain has developed in southern Missouri.

An area of low pressure will tap into cold air from Canada as it moves from the Plains to off the East Coast this weekend. There will be accumulating snow and some ice along and to the north of where the low tracks.

This appears to be a moderate snow and ice event for most areas from the central Plains to the mid-Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley, central and southern Appalachians and mid-Atlantic. But there will be some pockets of heavier snow embedded in this swath. Travel impacts are likely this weekend in parts of those regions.

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Winter Weather Alerts

Winter storm warnings have been issued from Missouri to southern Ohio, including the St. Louis, Indianapolis and Cincinnati metro areas, and also for a part of the Colorado Front Range foothills and Palmer Divide. These areas are the most likely to see dangerous travel conditions and heavy snow.

Winter storm watches have been issued by the National Weather Service in parts of eastern West Virginia, Virginia and northwest North Carolina, including the cities of Richmond and Roanoke, Virginia. These areas have the potential of picking up significant snow and/or ice.

Winter weather advisories stretch from Colorado and northern New Mexico to West Virginia, including Denver, Kansas City, Des Moines, Louisville, Columbus and Charleston, West Virginia. These areas should expect conditions that may lead to periodic travel delays, including blowing snow, falling snow and slick roadways.

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Here is our latest thinking on what to expect from Winter Storm Gia.

Snow, Ice Timing
Friday-Friday Night

During the day, snow or a rain-and-snow mix will begin to develop from northern New Mexico, Colorado and southern Wyoming into parts of Kansas, Missouri, southern Nebraska, southern Iowa, western Illinois and northern Arkansas.
By Friday night, snowfall will become more widespread as it pushes farther east. Areas from eastern Colorado to Kansas, southeastern Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, northern Kentucky and southwestern Ohio could see accumulating snow.
Freezing rain may cause slick travel conditions in the Ozarks of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri during the day and overnight.
Impacted cities: Denver | St. Louis | Kansas City, Missouri | Indianapolis (night)

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Saturday-Saturday Night

During the day, a swath of accumulating snow will likely extend from eastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska to Missouri, central and southern Iowa, Illinois, southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, western and central Pennsylvania, western and northern Virginia and western North Carolina.
Saturday night, snow will continue from eastern Missouri into Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, northern and central Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. Light snow is possible as far north as the New York City tri-state area.
Parts of the southern Appalachians as far south as southwestern North Carolina and the adjacent Piedmont could see a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.
A strip from northern Kentucky to southern West Virginia may also see some icing, potentially causing slick travel conditions.
Impacted Cities: Cincinnati | Indianapolis | Roanoke, Virginia | Washington D.C. (late Saturday/overnight)

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