Heavy snow in the Midwest slows travel and closes dozens of schools

MINNEAPOLIS, AP — Heavy snowfall spread Friday across a wide swath of the Midwest, where travel conditions deteriorated and dozens of schools closed or moved to online instruction.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for parts of Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa and Illinois, where forecasters expected up to 10 inches (24 centimeters) of fresh snow.

“This snow will combine with gusty winds to produce slippery, snowy roads and significantly reduced visibility,” the weather service said on Twitter. “Travel will likely become dangerous to dangerous at times.”

The fast-moving storm could make it difficult to travel through parts of the Northern Plains and upper Midwest in the central Mississippi Valley through Saturday morning, forecasters said.

Several southern states as well as parts of the northeast were bracing for the possibility of snow and ice over the weekend.

In the Midwest, Southwest Airlines warned Friday and Saturday of possible flight cancellations, diversions and delays at airports in St. Louis, the Twin Cities, Kansas, Des Moines, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska.

“Snowfall duration is likely to be 14 to 20 hours in most locations, which should allow for widespread accumulations of more than 4 inches and some locations exceeding 8 inches or more,” the weather service said. from Des Moines.

Motorists traveling on Interstate 94 near Bismarck and Mandan, North Dakota, reported the road was covered in ice and snow, with driving speeds Friday morning up to around 45 mph (72 km/ h) or less.

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