The storm, now brewing as low-pressure center in the southwest, will quickly move into the Rocky Mountains and deliver one to two feet of snow. A drop in the barometric pressure generally accompanies "bad weather": wind, thunder, snow and rain.
The storm is forecast to bring heavy rains, severe thunderstorms, heavy snows, high winds and blizzard-like conditions through Friday from the central Rockies, across the Plains into the Mississippi Valley and into the upper Great Lakes.
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FEMA Region 8 - which covers Colorado, Montana, the Dakotas and Wyoming - advised residents to have a 3-day supply food/water, battery-powered radio, flashlights and portable chargers on hand for the expected power outages associated with the wind gusts up to 75-80 miles per hour in the region.
The storm system is expected to weaken by Thursday as it moves over the Tennessee River Valley, bringing mostly rain from MI southward to the Gulf Coast and some remaining snow only in the far northern parts of the country, the weather service said.
People who live there should expect blizzard conditions, heavy wind gusts and possible tornadoes and flooding. The weather service office in Midland/Odessa, Texas, said Wednesday could be 'the windiest day in years, USA Today reported. Wind gusts of 50mph to 70mph are expected across Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, while some areas could see hurricane-force gusts of 100mph.
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Utility company Xcel Energy said about 130,000 commercial and residential customers in Colorado were without power due to high winds and wet heavy snow. An airport spokesman said 1,339 flights had been canceled as of mid-afternoon. Fargo-Moorhead is on the edge of an area of southeast North Dakota and west-central Minnesota that could see up to 4 inches of rain and freezing rain before snow moves in on Thursday.
Many police departments across the state have sent out blizzard survival tips, urging people to carry emergency kits with them if they venture out into the formidable weather.
The NWS has issued flood watches along the Missouri River throughout the Midwest and Great Plains through midday Thursday.
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The National Weather Service warned residents of Boulder, Colo. against traveling on Wednesday afternoon and evening, citing the possibility of icy roads, whiteout conditions, and strong winds, according to CNN.