Blizzard Sweeps Over Midwest
Up to foot of snow snarls traffic, disrupts flights
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2012 7:13 AM CST
The forecast for noon, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 shows a strong winter storm will bring blizzard conditions to portions of the Northwest as well as heavy rain to portions of the Northeast.   (AP Photo/Weather Underground)

(Newser) – The Midwest has officially been hit by its first big winter storm of the year, spurring blizzard warnings in seven of the region's states. School has been canceled throughout Nebraska and Iowa, where drivers have been instructed to, well, not drive, reports the AP. Up to a foot of snow has already fallen in Des Moines, and "thundersnow" may strike the Milwaukee area, reports to USA Today. The heaviest snow is expected across a swath extending from northwest Missouri into Milwaukee, Chicago, and Michigan. "It's a pretty nasty storm," one meteorologist tells Reuters.

"We've had snow before," pooh-poohed one general store manager in Iowa. "Iowans know what to expect. We're used to it." But with the Christmas travel season getting under way, flight delays and cancellations could compound the headache. Chicago, home to the country's second-busiest airport, is gearing up for major disruptions. Already Delta and United are allowing travelers to change their flights without incurring fees. Interesting side note: Before this storm, Chicago hadn't seen snow in 290 days, reports the Tribune, and a number of Midwestern cities had broken records for the number of consecutive days without measurable snow.

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Dec 20, 2012 4:47 PM CST
I guess this is what happens when "Global Warming" goes on strike because it " Just doesn't get the respect it deserves".
Dec 20, 2012 3:19 PM CST
As of 3:00pm CST here in Madison WI we have at least 12 in. of wet heavy snow.... It is still falling with blowing and drifting..... It is expected to end by 9:00 with snow totals of 16-18 in...... We've had on and off thundersnow which is rare and kind of cool.....
Dec 20, 2012 9:30 AM CST
We got just a couple of inches of snow here in K.C. but the schools are closed and traffic is a mess. The street cleaning crews are nowhere to be seen. What's up with that Mayor James?