Blizzard Threatens Southwest, Midwest

Holiday travel could be affected
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2011 1:42 PM CST
The Weather Underground forecast for Tuesday says the strong storm of the South will move into the Mid-Mississippi Valley, bringing freezing rain, snow, and t-storms.   ((AP Photo/Weather Underground))
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(Newser) – If you live in the Southwest and Great Plains and you were hoping for a white Christmas, good news! A powerful blizzard is sweeping across the area today, with up to 18 inches of snow expected in parts of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado, the AP reports. New Mexico has already seen a number of schools shut down this morning, and one Oklahoma woman reports 1.5 inches of snow accumulating in the first hour of the storm. "It's a blizzard. I can't even see the mesa," she said.

Of course, the snows aren't such great news for people traveling for the holidays. Interstate 25 between Las Vegas and Wagon Mound has already closed due to ice and low visibility, and similar problems are expected on Interstate 35 in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas; Interstate 40 in New Mexico; and Interstate 70 across central Kansas. Kansas still enjoyed temperatures in the upper 40s as late as this morning, but officials are bracing for snow and winds of up to 45 mph in the southwestern part of the state later today. (Read more snow storm stories.)

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