More than 1,000 flights canceled as major winter storm threatens to produce historic snowfall

More than 1,000 flights in and out of the United States were canceled Wednesday as severe weather wreaked havoc, with the massive storm threatening to bring record snowfall to parts of the country.

As residents across the Northern Plains braced for the storm, schools across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin announced closures ahead of the severe weather system, which is expected to affect millions, while California struggled with strong winds and power outages.

The National Weather Service A winter storm, blizzard and high wind advisory has been issued for parts of the West and North Central US in anticipation of the storm, with up to 2 feet of snow expected in some areas through Thursday. Officials warned residents to stay off the roads due to “whiteout” conditions.

According to the online flight tracker FlightAwareNearly 950 flights are listed as delayed.

At least 180 flight cancellations related to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Nearly 100 people were listed from Denver International Airport.

‘Multiple Weather Hazards’

The weather service said the arrival of a large stream of arctic air from Canada “interacting with a dynamic upper-level pattern and several frontal systems forecast to move across the country this week will bring several weather hazards.”

Widespread heavy snow is expected to continue across the West and the northern tier of the country, with snowfall totals of 1 to 2 feet across most mountain ranges across the West, the agency said. Snowfall is expected across east-central Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.

Wind gusts could reach 50 mph, and wind chills could reach minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota, the weather service said.

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“I ran state agencies with forecasts of up to 20 inches of snow. @MnDPS_MSP, @MnDOTAnd @MNNationalGuardWe need to take action to prepare,” said Minnesota Governor Tim Walls Tweet tuesday

Residents warned to ‘limit travel’

“We’re working to make sure we’re prepared — and Minnesotans have a role to play. Plan ahead, drive safely and limit travel,” he said.

“Snowplow crews will be working across the state, but this storm could be a terrible one,” the Minnesota Department of Transportation said in a statement. Tweet.

Schools across the state also announced closings, Minneapolis Public Schools said on its website All of its buildings will be closed “due to the impending winter storm.”

“All MP students will have e-learning days throughout the week,” the district said.

“Snow will begin to taper off in the north on Wednesday and focus further south by Thursday,” it said.

Strong winds and power outages

California is also bracing for wintry weather, with winds that began Tuesday expected to bring rain, snow and hail to parts of the state.

By early Wednesday, tens of thousands of utility customers across the state were without power. More than 154,700 customers were affected by the outages, according to an online outage tracking website

The weather service warned, “Another Pacific storm system will approach the coast late Thursday with little break from active weather in California, with continued low-elevation rain/high-elevation snow chances.”

Register hot elsewhere

Meanwhile, moderate to locally heavy rain, as well as a few thunderstorms, are expected over low-lying areas of the West Coast, with rain expected to spread from the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday southward to the California coast by Thursday.

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As much of the United States struggles with snow and cold weather, more heat is expected to hit the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions.

Temperatures Wednesday through Thursday will climb into the 70s and 80s from the Southern Plains east to the Southeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, the weather service said. “Thursday’s high will be particularly anomalous in the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic regions, where temperatures of 40+ degrees above average will feel more like June than February.”

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