Nearly a million people were under blizzard or blizzard warnings in the northern and central Plains on Tuesday as heavy snow, freezing rain and powerful winds created treacherous road conditions that could last into the early hours of Wednesday, forecasters said.
Blizzard warning Affects more than 550,000 people Tuesday afternoon in five states — Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming — and will remain in effect through early Wednesday morning in part of the region, where up to six inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 60 mph, The National Weather Service said.
Storm is a Blizzard With heavy snowfall, wind gusts up to 35 mph and visibility of less than a quarter mile for at least three hours.
More than 300,000 people were under a blizzard warning Tuesday afternoon for a swath of the Dakotas and western Minnesota. Snow and freezing rain are expected to blanket the Dakotas and northern Minnesota on Tuesday, bringing snow accumulations of more than half an inch and creating hazardous travel conditions, the weather service said.
A wintry mix will arrive in parts of the Mississippi Valley on Wednesday as the storm moves out of the Plains.
Parts of Nebraska and South Dakota had reported four inches of snow as of Tuesday morning, but strong winds prevented accurate measurements, said Amanda Viken, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in North Platte, Neb. Some towns in southeastern South Dakota Up to a foot of snow has fallen since MondayAccording to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Up to four more inches of snow is expected in western South Dakota, western Nebraska, far eastern Wyoming and northeastern Colorado before the storm begins Tuesday night and tapers off into Wednesday. The National Weather Service said. In areas where snowfall has stopped or slowed, freezing temperatures and winds above 55 miles per hour will cause icy roads and whiteout conditions throughout the day, forecasters said.
“It's very slick and the visibility restrictions we're seeing with these strong winds don't help,” Ms Wicken said.
Snow showers and a breezy north wind swept across northwest Nebraska on Tuesday, leaving some areas with visibility below a mile, the National Weather Service said. On social media.
Lincoln County Emergency Management in Nebraska said Tuesday that Interstate 80 was closed in White-out conditions and accidents in both directions between Paxton and Big Springs.
“Be safe and slow down if you're traveling today,” the Nebraska State Patrol said said on social media On Tuesday.
Monday, South Dakota Department of Transportation said in a press release Conditions on snow and ice-covered roads were “approaching zero visibility,” prompting officials to close parts of Interstate 90 beginning Tuesday morning.
In Kansas, State Transport Authorities Interstate 70 was temporarily closed from Goodland in northwest Kansas to just west of the Colorado state line and the road was warned Tuesday morning that it was “partially closed or packed with snow.” Interstate 70 reopenedBut parts of other roads remain closed, according to traffic officials.
According to Nebraska State Patrol spokesman Cody Thomas, troopers responded to nearly 150 “weather-related incidents” on roads in Nebraska on Monday.
A crash involving several jackknife tractor-trailers forced the closure of a section of eastbound Interstate 80 near York, Neb., for about three hours Monday afternoon, the Nebraska State Patrol said. There were no injuries in the accident, which was partly due to snow and slippery road conditions, Mr. Thomas said in a statement.
Forecasters warned that strong winds, especially in South Dakota, could damage trees and cause power outages with the risk of downed power lines. There were no reports of widespread power outages. According to PowerOutage.usIt will monitor the utility sector until Tuesday afternoon.
The impact on air travel at the beginning of the storm appeared to be relatively moderate. About 100 flights into, in or out of the US were canceled as of Tuesday morning. FlightAware. Around 3,800 flights across the country were delayed.
Vacationers planning to hit the road Tuesday should use caution on the road, said Matthew Meyers, a meteorologist with the weather service's office in Sioux Falls, SD. Most of the overnight rain was cooling.
“They should take it very slowly if they can,” he said. “It's going to be smooth in there.”
Johnny Diaz, Eduardo Medina And Derrick Bryson Taylor Contributed report.