Winter storm warnings begin Wednesday across much of state

Duluth firefighters Brian Andres and Conrad Sunde clear snow in front of the West Duluth fire hall. Steve Kuchera

Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel hard over some locations.

Snow that began on Wednesday and Wednesday night will continue to pile up Thursday night in many parts of the northern Plains.

Ranchers in western Nebraska already have been warned to prepare for the worst type of weather for cattle: cold rains followed by heavy, wet snow, plummeting temperatures and rising winds. However, it will be short-lived, as the snow will transition to rain from south to north overnight. The wintry mix, including freezing rain, could add to the road concerns for this morning, along with the strong sustained northerly winds that could reach 25-35 miles per hour, with gusts of 40-50 mph possible. It was expected to fall to 2 below by late Friday afternoon, with wind chills as low as 19 below.

Additional rainfall from Thursday through Saturday could amount to 3 to 5 inches of rain along the Gulf Coast.

Worst of winter storm to hit well north of Mankato
Bad weather heading Sudbury's way

The combination of increasing wind and the dry, powdery nature of the snow can create blizzard conditions at times over portions of the central High Plains to parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest.

A major Winter storm will affect the regions Wednesday night through Friday with heavy snow and blowing snow.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for the central and south Cascades through Thursday morning. With the month almost over, just three days had temperatures below normal and even then the overnight low did not drop below zero.

Once the fog lifts, Christmas will be the best day for traveling this week. Highs will only be in the low 30s today in Denver, with low 20s tomorrow. Get those features and more on the free First Alert Weather App. As of right now, it looks like we'll start off the new year with some of the coldest temperatures of the winter season thus far.

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