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.
Some of the warmest weather of the year will continue across Alaska over the next few days, challenging more records.
Join us on Thursday for AccuWeather LIVE, we will discuss the debate of climate change and hurricane frequency and the top five things you need to know about summer weather.
Warmth is forecast to build over much of the eastern half of the nation by July, with Alaska of all places helping out.
A brief synopsis of the top five worst weather events of last summer.
The storms could affect cities from St. Louis to Evansville, Ind., Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio to Huntington, W.Va.
A tornado touched down at Denver International Airport as a severe weather system moved through the area.
East Coast (1893)
Hurricane arrived off Cape Cod, after crossing Florida and sweeping the Southeast coast.
West Salem, WI (1998)
High winds downed a circus tent, injuring many people.
Elizabeth City, NC (1991)
2.83" of rain in 2.5 hours.