After a short respite from this winter's fury, a powerful storm will blast the Midwest and western Great Lakes with heavy, wind-driven snow on Thursday into Thursday night.
The storm began to organize in the Plains Wednesday night and now brings snow and ice into portions of the Midwest.
Snow started falling across parts of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, while an icy mix created slick roads across parts of Iowa, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin for the first half of Thursday.
Travel delays are likely on Thursday morning along the Interstate 80 corridor from Cheyenne, Wyo., to Omaha, Neb., Des Moines, Iowa and Chicago.
The storm will continue to intensify through Thursday as it moves into the western Great Lakes on Thursday night.
This will pull warmer air northward and allow precipitation to go from ice to rain in Chicago and Milwaukee, Wis., by Thursday afternoon. People across Chicagoland could hear rumbles of thunder as well on Thursday afternoon.
The icy mix will spread northeastward into Green Bay, Wis., and northern Michigan, while snow will become heavier from northern Iowa to western Minnesota and eastern Wisconsin.
Snow will arrive in Minneapolis, Minn., on Thursday morning, but the heaviest accumulation will occur during the afternoon and early evening.
Winds will become quite strong across the Midwest and western Great Lakes on Thursday night, with gusts expected to reach, and perhaps exceed, 50 mph.
It will be a whiteout at times with visibility down to near zero, which will create extremely dangerous travel conditions.
Although the storm will move into Ontario, Canada on Friday, gusty winds will continue to cause blowing and drifting in the Upper Midwest.
This storm will have far-reaching impacts, not just the middle section of the country.
Severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and downpours are a threat from the lower Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast.
Rain and snow melt will combine to create an increased threat for flooding north of the Ohio River.
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