23 million Americans under winter storm warnings as blizzards barrel across Midwest, West

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23 million Americans under winter storm warnings as blizzards barrel across Midwest, Westplay

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Forecasters warn of mid-week storm in Midwest, Northeast

AccuWeather forecasters are keeping a close eye on a system that will deliver snow and ice to the Midwest and Northeast during the week.


A major winter storm that has stretched 2,600 miles from coast to coast continued to hit states from the West to the East Coast on Wednesday, moving into parts of Pennsylvania, New York and New England. 

Residents in western states and the Plains have faced severe winter weather for several days already this week and may see blizzard conditions and significant snowfall.  

And as the massive winter storm barrels across the country, dangerous conditions are landing further east, with an ice storm slicing across several midwestern states and snow and sleet reaching the Northeast.  

Nearly 23 million Americans were under a winter storm warning as of Wednesday morning, and an additional 42.4 million people were in a winter weather advisory.

Before and after: Photos show recovery at drought-stricken California reservoir

Here’s what you need to know about Wednesday’s winter weather.  

Blizzard conditions scattered across West, Midwest

A blizzard warning is in effect in part of Wyoming until 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

Snow accumulations could reach up to a foot, and winds could gust up to 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Riverton, Wyoming.  

The weather service warned that travel will be impossible in some areas, and frigid wind chills as low as 35 degrees below zero can cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.  

A blizzard warning is also in effect in parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota on Wednesday, with winds gusting up to 50 mph. Wind chills could drop as low as 45 degrees below zero, carrying the risk of causing frostbite in as little as 10 minutes.  

The National Weather Service Twin Cities called the winter storm “historic,” saying that by the time snowfall ends Thursday evening, some areas could see close to two feet of snow.  

US weather watches and warnings

Health: You can get frostbite in minutes in frigid temperatures. Here are the symptoms and how to stay safe.

What defines a blizzard? Heavy snow and high winds expected to sweep across country.

Snowfall continues in the West   

Major winter weather isn’t done with the West yet this week. 

In parts of Nebraska and Wyoming, a winter storm warning remains in effect until early Thursday morning, with snow of up to 15 inches expected. Wind chills are set to reach as low as 40 degrees below zero.  

And in parts of Colorado, a wind chill advisory is in effect from Wednesday evening into Thursday. Heavy snow snow is expected alongside wind gusts that could reach up to 45 mph.  

In parts of Utah, snow of up to a foot is expected, alongside winds gusts of 60 mph.  

What is thundersnow and how does it form: Explaining how a thunderstorm can produce snow

What is wind chill? Understanding the wind chill index and how it's calculated

Ice storm warning cuts across Midwest 

An ice storm warning was in effect in several states in the Midwest on Wednesday, with the National Weather Service warning of “significant icing expected,” along with power outages, tree damage and treacherous travel. The states impacted include:  

Iowa Wisconsin  Michigan  

Lansing, Michigan could be in the “bullseye” of significant icy conditions, some forecasters warned, the Lansing State Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, reported.  

Winter weather reaches Pennsylvania, New York and New England 

Parts of Pennsylvania are under a winter weather advisory beginning at 6 a.m. on Wednesday and continuing until the afternoon.  

And a winter weather advisory was in effect from 4 p.m. on Wednesday until Thursday afternoon in parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York. Area residents could see a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain, with snow and sleet expected to reach up to four inches. Ice accumulations could reach to about one tenth of an inch.  

What's the difference? Sleet vs. freezing rain vs. hail

Winter storm tracker

National weather radar

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