MILWAUKEE Dec 24 A winter storm was taking aim
on Saturday at the U.S. West and Midwest where it was expected
to dump heavy snow and freezing rain, causing headaches for
millions of holiday travelers who were hitting the road over the
weekend, forecasters said.
Winter storm and blizzard warnings and watches were in
effect from Nevada and Colorado up through the Dakotas and into
northern Minnesota as 2 inches (5 cm) to 15 inches (38 cm) of
snow along with strong gusts were in the forecast on Saturday
and Sunday, the National Weather Service said.
"Blizzard conditions are possible across portions of the
northern plains on Christmas Day, where snow along with winds
gusting in excess of 60 mph could create very dangerous travel
conditions," the weather service said.
The treacherous weather could hamper the plans of some of
the 94 million Americans who, according to American Automobile
Association, were expected to travel by vehicle over the holiday
From New Mexico up through northeastern Wisconsin, a mix of
freezing rain and flurries will cover roadways with an icy glaze
and blowing snow over the weekend, the service predicts.
Thunderstorms and 45-mph (70 kph) winds were also expected
for northern Texas, central Oklahoma and southern Kansas and
Missouri on Saturday and Sunday, the National Weather Service
The storm caused problems on Friday in northeastern Oregon,
where transportation authorities closed Interstate 84 between
Baker City and LaGrande for several hours on Friday after snow
reduced visibility to zero.
Bad weather was to blame for more than 620 flight
cancellations on Friday in the United States, flightaware.com
In Appleton, Wisconsin, where snow had fallen on Friday
evening, a plane carrying the Minnesota Vikings National
Football League team slid off a runway, local airport and team
officials said. No injuries were reported.
Flood watches and warnings were also in effect for parts of
the West Coast, including coastal Southern California, and
Midwest after heavy rains fell on Friday night and temperatures
were expected to rise throughout the regions over the weekend.
Despite the winter weather, parts of Missouri, Kentucky and
Tennessee will enjoy unseasonably warm weather on Christmas Day,
as temperatures are likely to soar into the 60s F, according to
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Adrian