The Latest: Wisconsin schools canceled due to heavy snow
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Latest on the pre-Thanksgiving wintry storm (all times local):
Numerous schools canceled classes in northern and western Wisconsin as heavy snow and high wind caused deteriorating travel conditions.
The National Weather Service posted a winter storm warning from just north of La Crosse to northeast Wisconsin. In far northern areas of the state, including Bayfield, Ashland and Iron counties, snowfall totals could reach as high as 20 inches (508 millimeters). Elsewhere, 6 inches (152 millimeters) to 10 inches (254 millimeters) of snow was expected in northwestern Wisconsin.
A Wisconsin Department of Transportation map shows roads and highways snow covered and slippery throughout the northern half of the state.
School districts from Mosinee to Viroqua were among those taking the day off Wednesday.
The storm brought rain and thunder to southern Wisconsin where the temperature was 50 degrees in Milwaukee Wednesday morning.
Blinding snow is falling fast in southern Minnesota, where 12 inches (304 millimeters) or more is expected to accumulate during a busy holiday travel period.
Officials warned residents to stay off the roads until the accompanying high winds die down. By early Wednesday, 8.7 inches (221 millimeters) of snow was already on the ground in Prior Lake, 7.8 inches (198 millimeters) at St. Paul and 7.5 inches (190.5 millimeters) in Eagan.
At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, crews worked overnight to clear runways ahead of the busiest travel day before Thanksgiving. About 20 flights were delayed or canceled Wednesday morning.
Many school districts and universities, including St. Paul Public Schools, the University of Minnesota and University of St. Thomas canceled Wednesday classes as travel conditions deteriorated.
A storm packing heavy snow and high winds that wreaked havoc as it whipped through Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska is marching into the upper Midwest as anxious Thanksgiving travelers brace for a busy, if not perilous, holiday week.
The wintry storm that left at least one person dead was expected to push eastward into South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin on Wednesday, while a “bomb cyclone” weather phenomenon was expected to simultaneously topple trees, knock out power and dump snow as it rolled into California and Oregon.
The one-two punch made for a double whammy of early wintry weather that threatened to scramble plans for millions of people nationwide during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.