A storm system stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes has buffeted the central US with heavy snow, winds, rain and hail, forcing flight cancellations, creating treacherous road conditions and killing at least three people, including a sleeping 2-year-old Louisiana girl.
As North Platte and the surrounding area awaits predicted blizzard conditions, the weather is already starting to deteriorate. Most interstates are closed and the DOT is recommending no travel across most of eastern South Dakota, parts of southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa.
Lincoln kept the snow at arm's length longer than expected, but a storm that caused whiteout conditions across much of Nebraska finally arrived in the capital city Saturday afternoon.
Travel is expected to be unsafe and at times impossible throughout much of northwest Kansas including Goodland, Colby and Hill City.
Authorities closed several highways in southwestern Minnesota, where no travel was advised, and driving conditions were hard across the southern half of the state. Tree branches may fall and power outages are possible.
Ranchers should take necessary actions to protect young livestock especially vulnerable to the strong winds, blizzard conditions, and much colder temperatures.
In New York state, an ice storm warning in in effect near Buffalo until Sunday afternoon, with ice accumulations of up to half an inch expected.
"We're not seeing a huge mess at this point", she said.
Tornadoes are also a possibility, but high winds are also more hazardous than many realize.
Sgt. Michael Grummert also says they have seen a huge spike in stranded vehicles since Friday night.
Temperatures Saturday night and Sunday night are expected to fall into the low to mid 20s which maybe unsafe to any sensitive vegetation that has started blooming.
Snow will exit KAKEland Saturday morning with a 2 to 4 inches across extreme Northwest Kansas.
Just Friday, the high in Lincoln was 82 degrees.