A blizzard will continue to affect portions of the Upper Midwest during Leap Day 2012 with heavy snow, low visibility and gusty winds.
Feb. 29 happens only once every four years, so blizzards on this date are much more rare than any other day in the winter. Wednesday is Leap Day 2012.
According to Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski, "Conditions experienced in height of the storm will range from disruptive to immobilizing."
Cities being hit by the storm today include Fargo and Jamestown in North Dakota, Pierre, Aberdeen in South Dakota and Duluth in Minnesota.
Even while snow tapers off from west to east over the Dakotas into western Minnesota, gusty winds will continue to cause extensive blowing and drifting of the snow on the ground.
**The storm has delivered up to a foot and a half of snow and sporadic power outages to portions of northern Wisconsin and central Minnesota. In portions of eastern South and North Dakota, accumulations range from a few inches to nearly a foot. There have been reports of snow drifts to several feet in some locations over the northern Plains, where the snow is more dry and powdery.**
**Duluth, Minn., was being hammered by the storm with snowfall rates up 2 inches per hour and wind gusts near 50 mph during the morning hours.**
This map shows storm total snowfall.
There can even be thunder and lightning in portions of the heavy snow area.
The storm will also have a warm side to it as many often do with a zone of rain and thunderstorms. Damaging and deadly storms have occurred.
Photo from Groundhog Day Blizzard in Chicago on Feb. 2, 2011 by AccuWeather.com Facebook fan Laercio L.
While the blizzard diminishes over the northern Plains and the Upper Midwest later today, heavy snow will fall on portions of theNortheast into Thursday.
Meteorologist Bill Deger contributed to the content of this story.
Tropical Depression Two has formed in the Atlantic and could become the next tropical storm of the season by midweek.
Warm and humid air in place over much of the Northeast at midweek will contribute to the risk of drenching, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.
After temperatures briefly climb to typical midsummer levels, another cooldown will roll into the Midwest and expand to the East for the last part of July.
With the recent heat fading away, more relief will greet the Northwest by midweek in the form of rain.
After pounding Taiwan, Typhoon Matmo is now bringing heavy rain and gusty winds to eastern China.
A potent storm system moving out of the Northwest United States will bring an elevated risk of tornadoes to parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan on Thursday.
New Zealand (1995)
Extreme cold - a bay in Littleton Harbor froze for the first time in "living memory".
Simla, CO (1996)
4.5" diameter hail.
Mid-Atlantic Ocean (1788)
(22nd-24th) George Washington Hurricane; After causing ship disasters off SW Bermuda, the storm moved NW over Tidewater, NC and VA to pass right over George Washington's Mt. Vernon plantation. On July 24th, George Washington wrote in his diary: "About noon the wind suddenly shifted from NE to SW and blew the remaining part of the day violently from that quarter. The tide this time rose near higher than it was ever known to do, driving boats, etc. into fields, where no tide had ever been heard of before, and most, it is apprehended, having done infinite damage on their wharves at Alexandria, Norfolk, Baltimore, etc. At home all day."