Blizzard conditions, winter storm warnings and watches in forecast: Wednesday

play { // query dom only after user click if (!vdContainer) { vdContainer = document.getElementById(‘videoDetailsContainer’); vdShow = document.getElementById(‘vdt_show’), vdHide = document.getElementById(‘vdt_hide’); } vdContainer.hidden = !(vdContainer.hidden); // show/hide elements if (vdContainer.hidden) { vdShow.hidden = false; vdHide.hidden = true; } else { if (!flagCaption) { flagCaption = true; fireCaptionAnalytics() } vdShow.hidden = true; vdHide.hidden = false; } }); function fireCaptionAnalytics () { let analytics = document.getElementById(“pageAnalytics”); try { if (analytics) { analytics.fireEvent(`${ga_data.route.basePageType}|${section}|${subsection}|streamline|expandCaption`); } else { if (window.newrelic) window.newrelic.noticeError(‘page analytics tag not found’); } } catch (e) { if (window.newrelic) window.newrelic.noticeError(e); } } }()); ]]>

Elderly man rescues stranded drivers in blizzard

80-year-old André Bouvier guides stranded drivers to his farm for shelter during a storm near Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Humankind, USA TODAY

Thursday updates: Read the latest weather news here

Wednesday is bringing potential blizzard conditions and winter storm warnings and watches from the Southwest to Illinois.

Residents in parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas were expecting snow and wind gusts of up to 60 mph with blizzard conditions forecast in the area. And residents of nine states from Arizona to the Midwest faced snow accumulations that could reach over a foot in some areas.

Meanwhile, wind advisories that extended in 12 states on Tuesday mostly faded by Wednesday, though some states, including Michigan, were still expecting gusts up to 50 mph.

Here’s what you need to know about Wednesday’s winter weather.

What defines a blizzard? Heavy snow and high winds expected to sweep across country.

What is thundersnow and how does it form: Explaining how a thunderstorm can produce snow

Winds leave parts of Detroit in dark; Michigan power outage map

Battered by strong wind gusts, over 30,000 Detroit-area residents were hit with power outages Wednesday afternoon, according to DTE Energy.

The utility company said it had deployed more than 400 crew members to fix the outages.

The National Weather Service in Detroit said the area would remain under a wind advisory until 4 p.m. local time.

Blizzard conditions in Minnesota, the Dakotas

A blizzard warning is in effect until noon on Wednesday in parts of Minnesota and North Dakota, with winds expected to gust as high as 55 mph and snow accumulations could reach four inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. on Wednesday in parts of South Dakota.

Officials warned that travel should be restricted to emergencies. If people must travel, they should have a winter survival kit with them, and stranded drivers should stay with their vehicles.

What is wind chill? Understanding the wind chill index and how it’s calculated

What’s the difference? Sleet vs. freezing rain vs. hail

Winter storm warning extends from Arizona to Illinois

Winter storm warnings stretched over parts of nine states Wednesday, with some warnings extending into late Thursday:

  • Utah
  • Colorado
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Illinois

Residents in Omaha, Nebraska, where the storm warning was in effect until Thursday evening, were expecting “near blizzard” conditions with 35 mph gusts and up to 7 inches of snow.

“If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency,” the storm warnings advised.

Projected snow accumulations in the affected areas ranged from just a few inches to over a foot.

Winter storm tracker

National weather radar

Contributing: Chandra Fleming, Detroit Free Press 

{ link.setAttribute(‘href’, url); }); } })(); function fireNavShareAnalytics (type) { try { let analytics = document.getElementById(“pageAnalytics”), section = ga_data.route.sectionName || ga_data.route.ssts.split(‘/’)[0]; if (analytics) { analytics.fireEvent(`${ga_data.route.basePageType}:${section}:nav-share-buttons:${type}`); } else { if (window.newrelic) window.newrelic.noticeError(‘page analytics tag not found’); } } catch (e) { if (window.newrelic) window.newrelic.noticeError(e); } } ]]>