Live updates: Powerful winter storm slams midwestern US with heavy snow, destructive winds
By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
November 26, 2018, 11:36:16 AM EST
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As of 10:30 a.m. CST, this story is no longer being updated. For a recap of the snowstorm, click here.
A powerful winter storm is blasting the midwestern United States, resulting in snow-packed roads, extensive airline delays, power outages and property damage.
"The combination of increasing winds, heavy snow and poor visibility will create localized blizzard conditions at times," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Blizzard conditions were observed across portions of Missouri, Illinois and Kansas Sunday evening.
Dangerous winter weather will continue to batter a portions of Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan into Monday. Check back here for live updates.
9:08 a.m. CST Monday:
Travelers in Chicago O'Hare International Airport are waiting in increasingly lengthy lines as flight cancellations mount amid snowy conditions.
7:30 a.m. CST Monday:
Travelers continue to face flight delays. Snow and ice have caused delays for flights arriving into Chicago O'Hare International Airport for an average of 3 hours and 40 minutes. Airlines at O'Hare are reporting over 670 cancellations and delays averaging 50 minutes due to heavy snowfall in the Chicago area, according to the airport's Twitter account.
🛑✈️❄️ Ground stop this morning for arrivals at Chicago #ORD due to winter weather. 3 hour+ delays. Contact your airline for flight status. https://t.co/CbrmLAovUF https://t.co/Dco1TiEErV #sgf #springfieldmo #bransonmo #flightdelay— SGF Airport (@flySGF) November 26, 2018
6:32 a.m. CST Monday:
Some schools have announced closures Monday morning as a result of poor weather conditions and loss of power in some areas.
4:20 a.m. CST Monday:
Residents of Chicagoland will wake up to several fresh inches of snowfall this morning. Near the lake shore, totals will be lower due to the influence of the warmer lake water.
However, those near the water will need to deal with the effects of significant ongoing coastal flooding.
Waves from Lake Michigan are getting close to Lakeshore Dr! A Lakeshore Flood Warning remains in effect for Cook County IL, and Lake & Porter Counties in Indiana until noon! https://t.co/e7AWEnKhMZ— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) November 26, 2018
Even where the snow has come to an end across western and northern Illinois, strong wind gusts continue to pick up and blow the snow around, resulting in limited visibility and dangerous road conditions.
At O'Hare, frequent wind gusts as high as 40 mph have persisted for several hours.
The heaviest of the snow has moved into the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, where trained spotters have already reported accumulation amounts as high as 4 to 5 inches.
2:40 a.m. CST Monday:
Earlier this evening, state police in western Illinois recognized that deteriorating road conditions would continue to make travel nearly impossible.
Around 1:30 a.m. CST, state police in Henry and Bureau counties reported that stranded motorists on Route 6 were being rescued by snowmobile.
The bike path at the Chicago lake front has also flooded as strong onshore winds continue to push water onshore. Several feet of water are reportedly covering the path.
12:14 a.m. CST Monday:
Snow continues to pile up in the Chicago area, with accumulation exceeding 10 inches across a swath of north-central Illinois. Strong winds will persist across the area through the night, increasing the threat of widespread power outages, dangerous travel conditions and lakeshore flooding in Chicagoland.
#wxchicago It is raining, snowing, thundering, lightening with crazy wind. All at the same time. Lake Michigan is angry and trying to creep up on to Lake Shore Drive #BlizzardWarning pic.twitter.com/HEbmdhayTj— SophiaTarlas (@SophiaTarlas) November 26, 2018
Power outages across the northern half of the state total nearly 84,000 customers as of midnight on Monday. About 43,000 of those are occurring in Cook and Dupage counties alone.
Transformer damage was caught on camera in the town of Bartlett in Dupage County.
Crazy! Because of the blizzard, a transformer exploded on the way home from work. Firefighters are already there, thankfully pic.twitter.com/zvXWCmENZo— 🎄Chro-ho-ho-no Katie (@ChronoKatie) November 26, 2018
9:40 p.m. CST Sunday:
Over 150 flights have been canceled or delayed at O'Hare and Midway airports in Chicago from 8:00 p.m. to midnight this evening alone.
Thundersnow has been reported in McDonough County in west-central Illinois, where heavy snow and wind gusts exceeding 40 mph have limited visibility to near zero for nearly two hours.
Just north of Davenport, Iowa, an estimated 14 inches of snow have accumulated from this storm across Clinton County, Iowa; and Whiteside County, Illinois.
8:10 p.m. CST Sunday
Road conditions continue to deteriorate across Illinois. This storm has caused many collisions and accidents due to slick and icy roads. Reduced visibility will also continue to be a problem, so traveling is not advised.
7:00 p.m. CST Sunday
This storm will shift northeast this evening spreading heavy snow across the Great Lakes into New England.
The winter storm producing blizzard conditions in portions of the Midwest this evening, will shift northeast spreading heavy snow across the Great Lakes into New England through the first half of this week. Check https://t.co/VyWINDk3xP for a local forecast. https://t.co/1oQPkS6jiA— NWS (@NWS) November 26, 2018
6:37 p.m. CST Sunday
As temperatures plummet, roads will become icy, followed by blowing and drifting snow along much of the Interstate-80 corridor and portions of I-35, I-39, I-70, I-88, I-90, I-94 and I-196 in the region.
5:15 p.m. CST Sunday
There is a jackknifed truck eastbound on I-70 near Ellsworth, Nebraska.
4:00 p.m. CST Sunday
More than 460 flights have been canceled as well as 700 delayed on one of the busiest travel days of the year due to this winter storm.
Planes were not able to land at Kansas City International Airport Sunday afternoon after blizzard conditions reduced visibility to less than a quarter of a mile.
1430 Update: While airport crews continue to plow and sweep runways and taxiways, the airfield is currently closed to arrivals due to visibility <1/4mi. Flying this evening? Please check with your airline for flight status.— Kansas City International Airport (@KCIAirport) November 25, 2018
3:37 p.m. CST Sunday
The Blizzard Warning for the Chicago, Illinois, area has been expanded to Cook, DuPage, Will and Grundy counties. Cook County includes downtown Chicago, which is one of the areas expected to have the worst conditions.
3:37 pm: We added Cook, DuPage, Will and Grundy counties to the Blizzard Warning. The worst conditions are expected to hit these areas this evening. #ilwx— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) November 25, 2018
2:30 p.m. CST Sunday
A Blizzard Warning was issued for portions of the Chicago, Illinois, area. Several inches may fall in the downtown area and a foot possible in the northern and western suburbs:
2:00 p.m. CST Sunday
Visibility is low in many areas across the central U.S. and many roads are snow, ice and sleet covered.
The Overland Park Police in Olathe, Kansas, are asking residents to avoid driving at all costs until blizzard conditions have passed and they are able to treat the roads.
We are asking, "very nicely" (again) to stay indoors until the blizzard passes. Let our snow plows clear and treat the roads. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/bbb7csBSS8— Overland Park Police (@OverlandPark_PD) November 25, 2018
1:26 p.m. CST Sunday
Blizzard conditions on I-35 and I-29 were making dangerous conditions for drivers north of Kansas City. Officials were urging residents in the area not to travel.
1:00 p.m. CST Sunday:
Driving conditions are still dangerous even though snow has stopped falling in some locations. High winds and icy roads are causing many accidents in Nebraska as well as Kansas.
Accidents still occurring even after a snow has gone. High winds and icy roads were participants in this trailer breaking in half at milepost 346 on I-80. pic.twitter.com/3Ln9tSQjVV— NSP Troop C (@NSP_TroopC) November 25, 2018
11:51 a.m. CST Sunday:
According to FlightAware, a little over 25 percent of Kansas City International Airport's inbound and outbound flights for Sunday were canceled.
The Deputy Director of Aviation was urging travelers to stay home to sort out flights, rather than risk getting stranded in the airport, according to Kansas City reporter Bianca Beltrán.
11:09 a.m. CST Sunday:
Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer declared a State of Disaster Emergency in response to this dangerous winter storm.
Gov. Colyer urges people to postpone travel plans, stay off the road and make sure your vehicle is stocked with an emergency kit if you must travel.
“Be mindful of all emergency response personnel out on Kansas roadways and give them space to do their jobs to ensure their safety and that of our citizens,” Colyer said in a statement.
The Kansas Department of Transportation is responding to multiple road closures due to low visibility.
I-80 and I-70 in Kansas both have closures going on due to accidents, and dangerous driving conditions. Avoid these areas and wait for travel conditions to improve. @TrooperBenKHP https://t.co/XEQy8DV5Tm— NSP Troop C (@NSP_TroopC) November 25, 2018
10:45 a.m. CST Sunday:
Northwest Missouri State Police Department reports portions of I-29 are closed. They are advising citizens in that area not to travel during this time.
Please check the latest road conditions. Portions of I-29 are closed. Do not travel at this time.— Northwest Missouri State UPD (@NW_UPD) November 25, 2018
10:00 a.m. CST Sunday:
Nebraska City officials declared a snow emergency at 10 a.m. CDT continuing through Monday morning.
The snow emergency means there is no parking on streets designated at snow routes, which includes Central Avenue and arterial streets.
9:54 a.m. CST Sunday:
Whiteout conditions were reported in Junction City, Kansas on Sunday morning as winds blew around the snow. At the nearby air force base of Fort Riley, wind gusts of around 35 mph were reported at the time.
9:50 a.m. CST Sunday:
Parts of I-80 in Nebraska were closed due to slick roadways, according to state police.
I-80 westbound is CLOSED at mile marker 426 (Mahoney) due to multiple crashes.— NEStatePatrol (@NEStatePatrol) November 25, 2018
Be aware if you must travel in the area. pic.twitter.com/Dgm82dCpo6
9:18 a.m. CST Sunday:
9:04 a.m. CST Sunday:
Saline County Emergency Management reported that I-70 was closed west of Salina, Kansas, in both directions due to poor driving conditions.
Here's a look at what conditions are like for our crews in Ellis County. I-70 is still closed from WaKeeney to Salina and travel is NOT advised as the storm continues to move east. #KSWX pic.twitter.com/HeyYhiNvIN— NWKansasKDOT (@NWKansasKDOT) November 25, 2018
9:00 a.m. CST Sunday:
Nebraska State Police advised that members of the public stay off the roads due to icy conditions on Sunday morning, including on I-80.
Troopers are on the road across Nebraska today to assist motorists.— NEStatePatrol (@NEStatePatrol) November 25, 2018
They report some black ice in addition to the snow and wind. This is near GI on I-80.
Good idea to stay home today if possible, but call *55 to reach NSP if you need help on the roads. pic.twitter.com/ce1K1IXrHA
8:13 a.m. CST Sunday:
Police reported drifting snow and snow-packed roadways across central Iowa. Driving conditions were so bad that parts of I-70 were shut down.
From Lt. Phillips...— Trooper Tod (@TrooperTodKHP) November 25, 2018
“We have 100% snowpacked & iced roads with drifting. Winds are near 45 to 50 at times. There are many slide offs. We have jackknifed semi’s in Gove, Ellis and Russell Counties!”
I-70 is shutdown in certain areas, check https://t.co/vkGGzfyaTk for updates! pic.twitter.com/xB8DgoRiGt
7:02 a.m. CST Sunday:
The National Weather Service office shows the snow-covered roads in Iowa, just south of Des Moines, on Sunday morning, before sunrise.
11/25 @ 7 am - Many roads southwest of Des Moines are quickly becoming snow covered and slick this morning. Travel conditions will worsen rapidly across southern and into central Iowa! #iowaweather pic.twitter.com/uXLS3KXK3y— NWS Des Moines (@NWSDesMoines) November 25, 2018
6:35 a.m. CST Sunday:
Wind and heavy snow continues to bring difficult driving conditions across Kansas and Nebraska. There were noticeable slowdowns along I-70 and I-80 through the snowy areas.
5:45 a.m. CST Sunday:
Although snow accumulation across Nebraska and Kansas is on the order of just an inch or two so far, whiteout conditions are resulting in near-zero visibility across the region.
Winds are gusting to nearly 60 mph across northern Kansas, and 40-50 mph gusts are common across much of the state as well as much of Nebraska. Power outages have started mounting up throughout the region.
Anyone planning on using a generator to power their home should be sure to put it in a cleared area outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Driving will become difficult and dangerous as the storm continues to strengthen and spread northeastward this morning.
Near blizzard conditions at NWS Goodland at 1:52 am MST on Sunday Nov 25, 2018. Sustained northerly wind at 35 mph gusting to 46 mph with 0.5 mile visibility in snow and blowing snow #COwx #KSwx #NEwx @NWSGoodland pic.twitter.com/N2HML5806k— Brandon (@Brandon_RTWX) November 25, 2018
Thundersnow was reported in Concordia, Kansas just after 5:00 a.m. local time.
Typically, the presence of thundersnow indicates that exceptionally heavy snow is occurring in that part of the storm.
Seeing lightning strikes in north central KS with the snow. Conditions will continue to deteriorate with heavy snow and near zero visibility. #kswx— NWS Topeka (@NWSTopeka) November 25, 2018
5:00 a.m. CST Sunday:
With Chicagoland's first major snowfall event of the season on the horizon, local authorities are warning the public about the impending conditions.
Slick, snow-packed roads can quickly lead to spin outs and major traffic jams for those who find themselves and their vehicle unprepared for the conditions on Sunday evening.
Traveling is strongly discouraged during the worst conditions later Sunday through Sunday night. However, if you absolutely must travel, follow these safety tips. For @IDOT_Illinois road conditions, call 800-452-4368 or go to https://t.co/xuzgjlTfz5 #ilwx pic.twitter.com/Jj25Up64bP— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) November 25, 2018
Many groups, including statewide transportation and safety groups, are taking action to ensure the public is informed about how to stay safe throughout the dangerous weather event.
Travel conditions will not be favorable Sunday, especially in the morning with the combination of snow and strong winds.— NEStatePatrol (@NEStatePatrol) November 24, 2018
Check https://t.co/6rvRreGarV @Nebraska511 before you travel. Call *55 to reach the NSP Highway Helpline for assistance.
Details: https://t.co/dkBR9xb0Ji… pic.twitter.com/7UtNvqQtl1
3:30 a.m. CST Sunday:
Snow has started falling across the Plains states, and winds have picked up substantially over areas from the Front Range of Colorado through Nebraska and much of Kansas. At Denver International Airport, wind gusts have exceeded 60 mph.
While the snow is tapering off in the Denver metro area, these strong winds continue to blow around the loose snowfall, limiting visibility to less than 2 miles.
Full on blizzard going on in the Denver metro! This in SW Aurora!! Out of the blue! Winds sustained at 30 and gusts 40+! Knocked down my deer in my front yard that was anchored down! #cowx @NWSBoulder @weather5280 pic.twitter.com/YVpkfup71S— Chris Crosby (@Chris_Crosby) November 25, 2018
Sustained winds over the Plains are approaching 30 mph, contributing to blowing and drifting snow and resulting visibility as low as one mile.
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