A winter storm that has already caused problems at airports in Chicago and Kansas City was expected to bring blizzard conditions to parts of the Plains and Midwest on Saturday and could dump up to a foot of snow in parts of the Northeast by Sunday.
National Weather Service forecasters issued winter weather advisories affecting much of the Midwest and into the Northeast, including heavy snow that could make travel difficult in some areas.
Forecasters also warned of blizzard conditions expected Saturday afternoon in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, including wind gusts topping 50 mph (80 kph). Officials in those states were urging people to stay inside if possible and noted that high winds coupled even with just a few inches of snow could make it nearly impossible to see in some areas.
In the Dakotas, parts of Interstate 29 and Interstate 94 were closed on Saturday.
The danger on the roads was highlighted by dashcam video recorded from a delivery truck and made public by the Iowa State Patrol. The video shows a state trooper and a person who had been involved in a crash along Interstate 80 near Council Bluffs in western Iowa on Friday looking at the damage when another truck loses control on the slick interstate and barrels into the crash scene, barely missing the trooper and other man.
Snow was expected to move across the Midwest and into the Northeast by Saturday evening. Snow totals could reach a foot (30 centimeters) or more in parts of Vermont and New York state. But most areas in the region were expected to get just a few inches.
On Friday night, the Federal Aviation Administration halted all flights in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport for several hours, and a plane slid off an icy taxiway at Kansas City International Airport. The Chicago Department of Aviation reported about 200 cancellations at O’Hare on Saturday morning out of nearly 2,000 total flights, and the FAA said some flights were being delayed by weather conditions.
After the storm, temperatures were expected to drop to the single digits and even below zero (-18 degrees Celsius) in parts of the Plains and the Midwest.