The storm will sweep right through the Rockies, the Upper Midwest, the central and northern Plains and more of the USA heartland.
"We expect a major blizzard to unfold with winds likely to approach hurricane force, heavy snow and massive drifts", AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. The increasingly wide undulations of the jet stream - the wind highway that blows from west to east around the Northern Hemisphere - has allowed for more extreme temperature fluctuations in the continental U.S. And sea surface temperatures, which have been steadily rising, also affect the intensity of storms. CBS Denver reported more than 1,300 flights have been canceled there because of weather conditions.
As the storm intensifies, heavy snow is expected from northern Colorado, including Denver, to western Nebraska, central South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota.
Meanwhile, thunderstorms were expected to keep pushing eastward Wednesday from the Southern Plains to the lower to middle Mississippi Valley. "Travel across the region will be hard, if not impossible", because of "white-out conditions and drifting of snow especially across the Plains".
'We are advising to stay off the roads through the afternoon and evening, ' Treste Huse, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Denver, said on Tuesday afternoon. Severe blizzard conditions are expected and several weather warnings are in effect in these areas.
The National Weather Service predicts it will be a "highly impactful winter storm" that tears through the region. The majority of those cancellations were flights destined for or originating at Denver International Airport (DIA), where a blizzard warning is in effect.
Multiple Colorado school districtswere closed.
Denver Public Schools cancelled classes due to the severe weather, the school district said in a tweet.
Destructive winds, gusting at more than 100 miles per hour, are expected in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado, where widespread power outages are possible.
In addition, flood watches have been issued across the Midwest and Great Plains amid concerns that heavy rains will melt snowpack and trigger significant flooding.