Midwest braces for potentially dangerous storm, but worst should miss Minnesota

Published 12:41 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NWS calling for 6 to 8 inches locally by Friday evening

ST. LOUIS — Hundreds of snow plows and salt spreaders are hitting roads and highways across the nation’s heartland, preparing for a winter storm that could dump up to a foot of snow in some areas and bring dangerous freezing rain and sleet to others.

Winter storm warnings were issued from Colorado through Illinois. By midday Wednesday, heavy snow was falling in Colorado and western Kansas.

Jayson Gosselin of the National Weather Service says parts of Colorado, Kansas and northern Missouri could get 10 to 12 inches of snow. Further south, freezing rain and sleet could make driving treacherous.

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The winter storm could be the worst in the Midwest since the Groundhog Day blizzard that started Feb. 1, 2011, forced the closure of Interstate 70 across Missouri due to white-out conditions.

Locally, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning, predicting the snow to start Thursday night with about 6 to 8 inches of snowfall by Friday afternoon.

The snowfall predictions could be downgraded locally, as some www.weather.com models call for 3-6 inches in southern Minnesota.