Blizzard halts travel in north central US as snow totals exceed a foot


Published on Apr 14, 2018
Blizzard halts travel in north-central US as snow totals exceed a foot.
A heavy, late-season blizzard will continue to create dangerous travel and unload more than a foot of snow across the north-central United States into Sunday night.

While some of the snow will melt at times on area roads, the heavy rate of snow and gusty winds will cause extensive blowing and drifting snow and difficult, if not impossible, travel conditions for an extended period of time this weekend.

Interstate 90 across southwestern Minnesota and into South Dakota is among the highways closed due to the blizzard.
Airline passengers should anticipate major flight delays and a high number of flight cancellations centered on the major hub of Minneapolis.

For the second day in a row, the game between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox was postponed on Saturday. Snow still falling and what has piled up in Target Field may prevent Sunday’s game from being played.
Minneapolis is among the locations where the blizzard may unload 1-2 feet of snow into the end of this weekend. The city’s airport received two inches in just one hour alone on early Saturday afternoon.
Other communities that will be burying out of similar totals lie from South Dakota to northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan. This includes the cities of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Wausau and Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Marquette, Michigan.

The worst travel conditions are likely to be centered on, but not limited to, the Interstate 35, 90 and 94 corridors.
“The strong wind aspect of the storm, in lieu of snow, can lead to power outages and property damage over a broad area of the Plains,” according to AccuWeather Senior Storm Warning Meteorologist Rich Putnam.

Operators of high-profile vehicles should be prepared for difficult cross winds along portions of I-25, I-29, I-35, I-70, I-80, I-90 and I-94.

Significant turbulence is likely and may lead to issues during landing and takeoff well away from the center of the blizzard and may impact the hubs of Denver, St. Louis and Chicago.
The storm has already caused a nightmare for travelers starting on Friday. A multi-vehicle accident occurred along Interstate 80 on Friday afternoon near Paxton, Nebraska, stranding people in near-zero visibility. Injuries were also reported from the accident.
During Saturday morning, blizzard conditions were occurring with the visibility down to a few hundred feet with winds gusting between 40 and 50 mph and occasional thunder and lightning at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The same storm will continue to trigger severe weather south and east of the snow area with the southern U.S. being threatened this weekend.

In addition to heavy snow, blizzard conditions and severe thunderstorms, a significant buildup of ice may occur in parts of Ontario, northern New York state and northern New England.

Early in the new week, the storm will pivot northeastward into southeastern Canada. Colder air will then funnel back into the Midwest and into the northeastern United States in the wake of the storm.

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