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Winter Storm Plagues N. Plains, Miss. Valley

7:45 AM CDT, January 12, 2013

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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The battleground between the cold weather swooping across the Central U.S. and warmth building in the East will bring a taste of winter and spring-like weather to the Mississippi and Tennessee valleys.

A cold front is slicing across the Central U.S. this morning with warmer 50s ahead of it and much colder single digits, teens, and 20s in its wake. Just on the western fringes of the front, enough moisture remains to be squeezed out as snow and sleet across central and eastern Kansas. Snow and wind are also wrapping around the main low pressure along the front in northern Minnesota.

As a result, Blizzard Warnings, Winter Storm Warnings, and Winter Weather Advisories continue through this morning in the Dakotas and western Minnesota. Meanwhile, Winter Weather Advisories are also in effect from northwestern Oklahoma and eastern Kansas into much of Missouri, including St. Louis, for wintry weather expected to move in this evening.

Coupled with gusty winds of 45 to 55 mph, this is producing near-zero visibilities and blizzard conditions along the Interstate 94 and U.S. Route 2 corridors. This is making travel extremely difficult. Wind chills as low as minus-20 to minus-30 degrees will make it dangerous to be outdoors.

Another 1 or 2 inches will fall across the Dakotas and Minnesota with up to 3 inches in east-central Kansas. Due to a bit of warmer air aloft, the snow will continue to mix with sleet from extreme eastern Kansas into Missouri. Up to an inch of snow and sleet as well as a tenth or two of ice are possible along Interstate 44 from Joplin to Springfield, Mo., and the Interstate 70 corridor through central Missouri.

In the soupy air farther east, severe thunderstorms and flooding downpours look promising from the Mid-South into the Tennessee Valley. Click here for more information on the soggy and severe aspect of the developing storm.

As the front slides east, the snow threat will move into the Midwest and Great Lakes Sunday.

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