A howling winter storm barreled through the West, hitting the mountain states with snow and fierce winds as it headed toward the country's midsection today. The far-reaching storm system stretched from California to Indiana, gathering strength as it raced eastward. Parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin were bracing for blizzard conditions and up to 10 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
"The storm system is really strengthening as it goes, and that's usually a recipe for some heavy snowfall and a lot of wind, and that's what we're watching for," says a National Weather Service spokesman in La Crosse, Wis. The storm hit nearly all of the western mountain states yesterday, leaving a thick blanket of snow. The weather system also snarled traffic and closed schools in Indiana, and crashes caused one death.