(updated 4:54-a.m.) Midwest hit by its first major snowstorm of season

News, Weather

December 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Forecasters are warning that the Midwest’s first major snowstorm of the season could cause blizzard conditions this morning from Kansas to Wisconsin. And there are predictions that some areas in a swatch stretching from northwest Missouri, into Milwaukee, Chicago and Michigan could get as much as much as a foot of snow. The conditions could threaten operations at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. A Blizzard Warning remains in effect until Noon today, for much of Iowa.

Heavy overnight snow has forced some school districts in Nebraska and Iowa to close. Drivers in Nebraska have been told to avoid treacherous roads. In western Kansas, some tractor trailers jackknifed or tipped. A clerk at a travel center in the town of Tribune says a stranded UPS driver had to spend the night with a family.

One meteorologist says the snow is a nuisance, but the moisture is welcomed by farmers in the drought-parched region. Some areas are more than 12 inches below normal precipitation for the year.

Some businesses in the KJAN listening area are either closed or will be starting late. Please see the “Cancellations” section under the “Community Hub” tab on KJAN. com for updates throughout the day. The snow will be tapering-off early this morning, with reports in western Iowa thus far ranging from 3-to 6-inches. Drifts of up to nearly a foot were common in the open areas, as well.