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Blizzard's Path Extends from Nebraska to Wisconsin

Expect 18 inches of snow in some areas, and wind gusts up to 50 mph
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 5:48 p.m. ET


A blizzard is unfolding near the Colorado/Kansas/Nebraska border Wednesday and will roll northeastward to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and central Ontario by late Thursday.

The storm will also become known for high winds over the Plains, Midwest and eventually the East.

Over the Plains and the Upper Midwest, where snow falls and wind gusts reach 50 mph, extensive blowing and drifting snow is in store with local whiteout conditions. In a narrow swath, the storm will begin as a wintry mix or even rain, but will change to windswept snow. Thunder and lightning are possible with the snow in some areas.

RELATED: Major Lake-Effect Snow Event to Follow Midwest Blizzard

Expect delays at airports in the path of the storms and ripple-effect delays in other parts of the nation. The storm will have direct impact on Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis.

Travel could come to a crawl or even stop for a time on major highways including I-35, I-39, I-43, I-70, I-75, I-80, I-90 and I-196.

Cities in the path of the blizzard include Russell, Kan., Omaha, Neb., Des Moines, Iowa, Green Bay, Wis., and Marquette, Mich. Many of these cities can pick up between six inches to a foot of snow. A narrow swath from northwest Iowa to central Wisconsin could see up to a foot and a half of snow.

Cities at risk for a quick freeze-up and icy travel, with a lesser amount of snow include Kansas City, Mo., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Chicago, Milwaukee, South Bend, Ind., and Grand Rapids, Mich.

The storm that brought heavy snow to the Intermountain West and Great Basin Tuesday will take a northeasterly path over the Plains and Upper Midwest, strengthening along the way.

The winds alone can be strong enough to down large tree limbs, cause minor property damage and bring power outages.

Lake-effect snow and high winds will also be a factor in the wake of the storm and may blend in during the tail end of the storm snow and blizzard in some areas.

This has the potential to be the most significant lake-effect event of the season so far from Lake Superior to lakes Erie and Ontario and potentially cloud be the heaviest lake-effect event of the winter for some locations.

South of the blizzard and freeze-up, needed rain will fall on part of the Ohio and Lower Mississippi valleys. However, a severe weather outbreak is also a possibility in the South and in the lower part of the Midwest.

Meteorologist Meghan Evans discusses who is most likely to have a white Christmas this year in "Stormier Pattern Increasing White Christmas Odds."

Visit AccuWeather.com for more weather news.

PHOTOS ON SKYE: Blizzard Dumps Snow on Colorado, Heads East

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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mkenzyst

Good time for the old Dutch oven..lol

December 20 2012 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mkenzyst

Good time for a Dutch oven..lol

December 20 2012 at 11:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lesatt2

65 degrees and sun beats blizzard . from the poor state of Fl.

December 19 2012 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hootie97

Instead of the grocery chains running ad's they contact the weather service hmmmm need to look around and see if the local weather men get their grocerys free.

December 19 2012 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RAM25

the weather man is the only person that can be wrong most of the time and still keep his job, CAN THIS JOB ...THEY CALL THE WEATHERMAN BE THIS DIFFICULT TO DO ??

December 19 2012 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joendeb92

I agree with jazznblooz -- winter storms force everything and everyone to slow down! Hope it happens!

December 19 2012 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James Weaver

Can't even get a break on the weather the last day?????? This sucks.

December 19 2012 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jazznblooz

I look forward to it, I love storms and winter storms are the best

December 19 2012 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hornyphil

Sounds to me like the end of the world really is coming. Damn!

December 19 2012 at 11:29 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
dianelwhyte

Hope everything goes well.

December 19 2012 at 11:20 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
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