Winter Storm Goliath has been named and will spread snow from the mountains of the West to parts of the Plains, Upper Midwest and possibly New England through early next week. Some of the heaviest snow amounts may target parts of the southern High Plains where strong winds could also cause blizzard conditions.

In addition to snow, the warm side of Goliath will produce severe thunderstorms and heavy rain this weekend. For more on that story, click the link below.

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Winter Storm Goliath will occur in two separate phases

Phase 1: Upper-level energy moving into the western states Thursday will spread snow through the mountains of the West and into parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest Thursday through Saturday.

Phase 2: Some of that upper-level energy will develop into an area of low pressure aloft over the Southwest and southern Plains. In response to this, a surface low pressure system will develop in the southern Plains this weekend, which combined with sufficient cold air to its north from high pressure, will result in heavy snow for parts of the southern Plains. That area of low pressure will then track towards the Midwest early next week, bringing snow to parts of that region and eventually New England.

Uncertainty remains with the details, including the exact location and timing of the snow for parts of the Plains, Midwest and New England this weekend into early next week. Below is an overview of our forecast right now, but keep in mind that changes are likely in the days leading up to the storm.

Winter Storm Goliath Storm Timing


The upper-level energy associated with Goliath will spread snow from the Cascades of Washington and Oregon to California's Sierra Nevada and parts of the Intermountain West. Total accumulations of 1 to 2 feet are likely above 4,500 feet in the Sierra Nevada.
Christmas eve day forecast


Snow pushes through the central Rockies, including parts of Utah, northern Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming.

A weak wave of low pressure will eventually allow accumulating snow to spread through the northern Plains and Upper Midwest later Friday and Friday night, including parts of northern and western Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.
Christmas day forecast

Snow continues to sweep eastward across parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest during the day as weak low pressure moves through. This includes a swath from the Dakotas to Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

Through the day and especially Saturday night, the storm will really begin to crank up in the southern Plains, with snow or rain changing to snow increasing across parts of New Mexico, west Texas and western Oklahoma. Increasing winds combined with the snow may lead to poor visibility and dangerous travel conditions in the southern High Plains. Blizzard conditions are not out of the question. A narrow band of freezing rain or sleet is also possible from the Texas Panhandle to west Oklahoma and central Kansas, particularly Saturday night.


Snow, possibly heavy, persists in parts of New Mexico, west Texas, southwestern Kansas and southeastern Colorado. Strong winds on the backside of the low pressure system will likely combine with the snow resulting in poor visibility and dangerous travel conditions with possible blizzard conditions at times. A transition area of sleet and freezing may continue from parts of the Texas Panhandle to central Kansas.

Monday - Tuesday

The timing of the storm is highly uncertain early next week, and will depend on how quickly the area of low pressure moves northeastward into the Midwest and the exact track that low takes. In addition, the amount of cold air available for the storm to tap into could be limited.

For now, snow or a wintry mix may pivot from the southern High Plains into Upper Midwest Monday into Tuesday as shown on our forecast maps below. Wintry weather is also possible in parts of Upstate New York and New England as moisture from the storm runs into cold air supplied by high pressure in eastern Canada. Check back for updates to this forecast through the weekend.

How Much Snow?

Thursday into Friday, a foot or more of snow will coat the mountains of the West, from the Sierra Nevada into the Rockies.

Several inches of accumulating snow will also likely fall across the northern Plains and the Upper Midwest Friday night through Saturday.

At the moment, computer model forecast guidance is indicating that some of the heaviest snow with the weekend part of this storm may target parts of southeast Colorado, southwestern Kansas, western Oklahoma, western Texas and eastern New Mexico. This is depicted by the dark purple and pink shadings on our forecast graphic below. It's not out of the question that some locations could see 6+ inches or even a foot or more of total snow.
Snow map weather
A second round of accumulating snow may blanket parts of the northern and central Plains and Upper Midwest early next week, but that will depend on the amount of cold air available and the exact track of the low pressure system forming in the southern Plains this weekend. Some accumulating snow is also possible in New England and Upstate New York early next week.

Keep in mind that this forecast map shows snow totals through Tuesday, including both phases of the storm in the Midwest and Plains.