Monster snowstorm to blanket more than half of United States

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The National Weather Service says snow was to begin about 3 p.m.in southwestern IL and spread northeast throughout the evening, reaching the Chicago area by early Saturday.

Missouri's governor Mike Parson said on Twitter that he had been briefed by public safety agencies and warned drivers to stay off the roads "as our dedicated road and emergency crews continue to fight this storm".

By late morning Saturday, officials had reported almost 11 inches of snow at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, where most flights were canceled or delayed. The team followed up later on saying the game was "tentatively rescheduled for Sunday". "In fact, it's possible that areas near the (Wisconsin) state line (will) end up with very little snow". It is poised to leave a blanket of snow this weekend over more than 1,500 miles from Denver to Washington. Washington and Baltimore were added to the list of advisories, watches and warnings Friday afternoon. More than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow has fallen in some places around St. Louis.

With a winter storm brewing, the University of IL urged students to wait until Sunday to return to campus if they couldn't get back to Champaign-Urbana by Friday evening. Hundreds of people were stranded for hours as snow and freezing rain rendered parts of Interstate 44 in Missouri almost impassable on Friday evening.

Although the Kansas City area is expected to get up to 6 inches of snow, it should be over by the time the Kansas City Chiefs begin their National Football League playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday afternoon. It would be the most snow the city has had in a single storm since 2014 when a January blizzard dumped 10.8 inches. In Columbia, 15.5 inches were reported and Harrisburg had 17 inches. A half inch of ice and 3 to 5 inches of snow are predicted.

Forecasters say heavier snow and higher amounts could fall in mountain areas north of Interstate 64, such as Charlottesville and Staunton, Virginia.

"The storm is expected to create havoc over the central part of the country, then extend eastward into the Mid-Atlantic states", said Randy Adkins, an AccuWeather meteorologist.

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