Warnings of a big winter storm covering parts of the Central Plains have made holiday travelers worried. The storm hints at possible travel problems and dangerous road conditions.
About 1.1 million people across Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming found themselves under blizzard warnings starting Monday afternoon.
Early reports from the National Weather Service point to a big and powerful winter storm ready to bury specific areas of the Central Plains under snow. This would bring blizzard-like conditions and risky travel.
The forecast includes expected ice buildup in the eastern Dakotas and northern Minnesota. This provoked worry among local people and travelers planning to go there.
CNN’s meteorologist, Robert Shackelford, described the expected effects of the storm. He foresaw heavy snowfall, freezing rain and strong winds blowing over large areas of the Central and Northern Plains until Tuesday. His projections highlight a high chance of widespread travel delays nearby.
Potential wind gusts could blast up to 75 mph in certain parts of the Central Plains. This would make conditions more hazardous when combined with heavy snow.
The weight of heavy snowfall is expected to especially affect the Northern Plains, mostly western South Dakota. It would persist until Tuesday, with possible extra pile-ups of 8 to 12 inches.
Ice storm warnings cover eastern parts of the Dakotas and far western Minnesota until Tuesday evening. This intensified concerns about potential power outages and tree damage from major icing.
In preparation for the storm’s effects, early actions have been taken. Street maintenance crews and snowplows were sent out early in Omaha, Nebraska. The city faced a blizzard warning on Monday afternoon. It prepared for expected snow and ice piles ranging from 5 to 11 inches, along with gusts of up to 40 mph. This was according to the weather service’s advisory.