Blizzard conditions shut down highways in eastern Colorado

Big blizzard headed this way: up to 55 mph winds, 11 inches or more of snow

The National Weather Service has expanded the swath of territory where a potential blizzard is expected to move Saturday, adding Woodbury, Ida, Cherokee and Buena Vista counties to the large area that could be impacted.

"Total snow accumulations of 7 inches to 11 inches, with localized amounts up to 18 inches, are expected", according to the bulletin posted just before noon on Thursday.

In north central Nebraska, there were thunderstorms and a chance for hail.

The huge storm, packing enough energy to cause widespread disruption, isn't unprecedented for April, said Jake Beitlich, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, Minnesota. On the eastern plains of Colorado the BLIZZARD WARNING continues until early on Saturday.

"We do get pretty powerful systems coming throughout the Midwest, and on the cold side we do get snow".

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The K-State Parachute Club 3K Day has also been cancelled for Saturday because of weather conditions. And to the west, in the panhandle, snow accumulation was already being reported, Gomez said, with 3 inches recorded in Gordon. Winds gusting as high as 50 miles per hour will cause whiteout conditions in blowing snow.

Current weather forecasts predict blizzard conditions in much of Northwest Kansas Friday through Saturday.

Additional severe weather risk is expected from early Friday afternoon through early evening across the eastern third of Kansas with the possibility of severe thunderstorms, 1-2 inch hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes.

Damage to power lines may occur.

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