Below is a quick look at this major, long-duration winter storm. Let's begin with ice storm timing. This is via Twitter and @severestudios.
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Below are ice accumulation forecast maps (thanks, Dr. Ryan Maue!) that correspond to my thinking about the storm. The first map is as of 6am Saturday (take each stated time as an approximation).
Below is the forecast for 6am Sunday.
The forecast for 6am Monday. Heavy icing is force indicated by the darkest colors.
So, I would summarize the ice storm this way:
- Where I call it "dangerous" there will be impassible roads in some areas and there will be power failures in some areas.
- Where I call it "disaster" many roads will be impassible, perhaps for days. There will be widespread power outages, perhaps for more than a week. It will be vital to prepare accordingly.
In these areas:
Making sure critical prescriptions are filled.
Make sure your fuel tank is full.
Make sure you have extra cash (ATMs and credit card machines don't work when the power is out)
If you have a generator, make sure you have fuel. If you think you need a generator, now is a good time even if this storm does not pan out but get on that right away.
Consider a "inverter" to keep phone charged, computer charged, and, with a large inverter, maybe an appliance or two.
Backup critical data.
Beginning Sunday night, heavy snow will be a factor.
I-80, I-76, I-70 and I-25 are all going to be difficult travel.
Ice storm warnings are being issued for a large area of the Great Plains.
Here's the latest watch/warning map.