Large Swathe of Northern US Prepares for Blizzard; Christmas Travelers Fret

Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012 01:01 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Heavy snow and strong winds are expected to hit several Midwest states late Wednesday into Thursday, before heading east into Canada and then parts of the Northeast later in the week.

The storm could have a snowy lining for many dreaming of a White Christmas.

According to meteorologists, the storm is expected to begin on the Colorado-Kansas border later Wednesday before heading east, where it will leave a foot of snow in some areas, signaling a dramatic change in weather conditions, which have been seasonably warm so far this winter.

The anticipated blizzard will impact parts of Iowa and Wisconsin hardest, with wind gusts expected to reach 50 to 60 miles per hour throughout the eastern plains and as far as the Appalachians on Thursday and Friday.

As a result of the approaching storm, flight delays are anticipated at area airports. Experts warn the disruptions will create a ripple effect at airports across the nation the weekend before Christmas.

Among the cities in the storm's path are: Omaha, Neb.; Green Bay, Wis.; Kansas City, Mo.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chicago, and Grand Rapids, Mich.

In addition to the snow and wind, near-freezing temperatures across the Midwest are expected to result in icy road conditions, slowing traffic to a crawl in some areas. According to Accuweather.com, affected major highways include: I-35, I-39, I-43, 1-70, I-75, I-80, I-90 and I-196.

In New England, strong south-to-southeasterly winds could bring coastal flooding problems, while in parts of upstate New York and Pennsylvania, the winds could cause power outages due to downed power lines.

According to Accuweather meteorologist Meghan Evans, states across the Midwest should have snow Christmas morning, as well as most of New England.

The Mid-Atlantic corridor, however, is not expected to have snow on Christmas Day, she predicted, meaning residents in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia will likely have a snowless Christmas.

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