Schools throughout the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin were called off for Wednesday. Offices closed and so did the Minnesota legislature. Emergency management leaders warned people to stay off the roads or face potential “whiteout” conditions.
The storm will make its way toward the east coast later in the week. Places that do not get snow may get dangerous ice. Forecasters expect up to a half-inch of ice in areas of southern Michigan, northern Illinois and some eastern states.
The snowfall could be historic. As much as 25in may pile up, with the heaviest amounts falling across east-central Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. Wind gusts could reach 50mph and wind chills are expected to hit -50F (-46C) in some parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota.
The Minneapolis-St Paul area could see 2ft of snow or more for the first time in over 30 years.