A powerful storm will move from the Central Plains into the upper Midwest bringing a swath of heavy snow, damaging winds and significant travel impacts today, warns the National Weather Service.
The Western U.S. is also being impacted by another powerful storm with heavy mountain snow and strong winds continuing into Thursday.
Heavy snows, reaching 30 inches (75 cm) in some areas, disrupted travel across the center of the United States, stranding thousands of travelers at airports, and forcing closure of stretches of major highways due to near-zero visibility.
Heavy snow has been falling across Colorado since Tuesday morning, with 10 to 14 inches already reported in parts of the state and a blizzard warning was issued for the Eastern Plains.
The strong winter storm was expected to drop up to a foot (30 cm) of snow in parts of Colorado and Wyoming and prompted the National Weather Service to issue blizzard and winter weather warnings for many states. Nearly a foot of snow fell on the Denver area by Tuesday morning and forced closure on Interstate-70 in both directions on Tuesday.
Although a late November snowstorm is no surprise in the Rockies, the Plains, or the upper Midwest, the severity of this particular storm was notable. It dropped about a foot (30 cm) of snow on Cheyenne, Wyoming and threatened Minneapolis-St. Paul with its biggest November snowfall in nearly a decade. Parts of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula were expecting between six and 12 inches (15 t0 30 cm) of snow Tuesday evening.
Intestate 5, the major north-south highway through Northern California, was shut down in two different areas by the snow, according to the California Department of Transportation.
Heavy snow and strong winds also forced closure of major freeways in Oregon. The last time a comparable storm for the region hit on Columbus Day in 1962, said meteorologist Marc Spilde with the Weather Service in Medford