National News from ABC

Minneapolis closes schools as city braces for massive winter storm

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — A massive winter storm is wreaking havoc on a large swath of the country, cancelling more than 1,400 flights across the U.S. on Wednesday.


Here’s what you need to know:

Midwest

In Minneapolis, residents are bracing for a potentially historic snowstorm. Minneapolis is forecast to get more than 17 inches of snow, which could be a top-five storm for the city.

Minneapolis Public Schools have moved to remote learning for the rest of the week.

“Plan ahead, drive safe, and limit travel,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted.

Minnesota has already seen up to 6 inches of snow from the first round of the storm. The snow will kick into high gear overnight, possibly bringing another foot of snow by Thursday morning.

Blizzard warnings are in effect in parts of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

By Wednesday night, a wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet will be falling from eastern Iowa to Milwaukee to Detroit.

Michigan and northern Wisconsin may see 1 foot of snow.

Southern Wisconsin could see up to half an inch of ice and more than 2 inches of sleet, which could make travel very dangerous.

Northeast

In the Northeast, the snow will get underway Wednesday night, with 7 to 12 inches expected in northern New York and much of Vermont. Snowfall rates could reach 1 to 2 inches per hour.

In the Berkshires and the Catskills, freezing rain and a wintry mix are expected Wednesday night, which could cause ice accumulation on the roads.

South

Meanwhile, record February heat is hitting the South.

New Orleans reached a whopping 83 degrees on Tuesday, making it the warmest Mardi Gras on record.

On Thursday, temperatures are forecast to jump to 89 degrees in Orlando, 81 degrees in Nashville and 82 degrees in Raleigh, North Carolina.

West

Flagstaff, Arizona, has seen more than 3 inches of snow on Wednesday, with 8 more inches possible through the day. Winds are expected to reach 55 mph, creating dangerous whiteout conditions.

In Utah, residents are facing more than 2 feet of snow on the ground, with another 5 to 10 inches expected.

And in California, after heavy rain slams the state on Friday, a blizzard warning will be in effect in Los Angeles County. Friday and Saturday’s blizzard warning will be the first ever issued in LA County.

The highest elevations could see up to 7 feet of snow and winds gusting up to 75 mph. Some snow will reach lower elevations, too.

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