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Weekend winter storm sweeping from Midwest to New England

Published
Father and son John, left, and Johnny Nagel were dressed for the cold temperatures on Friday while shoveling snow outside their north Bismarck, N.D., home Friday, Jan. 18, 2019,. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) — A winter storm started sweeping across the Midwest on Friday, leading to slick roads and runways, as it inched its way toward New England, where it was forecast to dump up to 2 feet (0.61 meters) of snow.

The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings from the Dakotas, across the Great Lakes states and into New England. The weather service at one point warned that conditions in New England over the weekend "could approach blizzard criteria." Ice was also a possibility in some areas in the storm's path.

In Nebraska, where freezing drizzle was falling Friday afternoon, authorities closed Omaha's Eppley Airfield after a Southwest Airlines plane slid off an ice-slicked runway. No one was injured. Eppley suspended all flights for a few hours before it was reopened. But airport officials warned that most flights would continue to be delayed.

In Iowa, the Department of Transportation warned that visibility was less than a half mile in many locations due to snow and wind. And in South Dakota, where snow was starting to pile up, authorities warned drivers to give plows extra room.

Chris Nace, who works at a Domino's pizza in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, said several inches of snow had accumulated since early morning and the conditions were slowing down delivery drivers.

"The plows are just getting out," he said late afternoon. "Just the main roads are cleared. They haven't gotten to the side streets yet." But drivers are used to such conditions, he added, and customers "are pretty understanding."

The storm was expected to bring between up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of snow to the Midwest before walloping the Northeast on Sunday. The National Weather Service in Albany, New York, said snow could fall at a rate of 1 to 3 inches (2.5-7.5 centimeters) an hour, creating "difficult to impossible travel conditions" in areas.

In New York City, the worst of the storm is expected from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, with snow accumulations of 3-6 inches (7.5-15 centimeters), followed by rain that could turn to ice as temperatures drop later Sunday. Single-digit temperatures could last into Monday. Strong wind gusts beginning Sunday afternoon could bring down snow- or ice-burdened tree limbs and power lines.

Officials warn of flight disruptions at airports, as well as possible changes in train schedules. The Chicago Department of Aviation reported more than 300 flights at O'Hare and Midway international airports had been canceled as of Friday evening. Amtrak canceled some trains Saturday from Chicago to Washington and New York and between New York and Boston and Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Chicago is forecast to receive as much as 8 inches by Saturday and wind gusts in the Chicago area are expected to reach 35 mph (56 kph).

Bitterly cold air was expected in the storm's aftermath.

___

Associated Press writers Margery Beck in Omaha, Nebraska, Blake Nicholson in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Verena Dobnik in New York City contributed to this report.

Passengers exit Southwest Airlines flight 1643 after the plane slid off the runway at Eppley Airfield Friday, Jan 18, 2019, in Omaha, Neb. (Ryan Soderlin/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
Motor graders plow Rosser Avenue as snow falls, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, in Bismarck, N.D. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
A woman rides her bike downtown during a snow storm in Sioux Falls, S.D., Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds.
(Loren Townsley/The Argus Leader via AP)
Water starts to freeze over during a snow storm in Sioux Falls, S.D., Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds.
(Loren Townsley/The Argus Leader via AP)
A man walks downtown during a snow storm in Sioux Falls, S.D., Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds.
(Loren Townsley/The Argus Leader via AP)
Former Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins (AHL) head coach Glenn Patrick, uses a snow thrower to clear snow off a new ice skating rink in Dallas, Pa., Friday Jan. 18, 2019.  (Mark Moran/The Citizens' Voice via AP)
A man walks through the snow across the Market Street Bridge in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Friday Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds.  (Mark Moran /The Citizens' Voice via AP)
A Pennsylvania Department of Transportation road treatment truck pulls in to attach a plow at a storage facility in Franklin Park, Pa. on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. Weather forecasters are are predicting a heavy weekend snow storm across Pennsylvania and surrounding states. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
A mechanic changes out used tires as Walliingford Public Works crews prepare for the incoming storm, Fri., Jan. 18, 2019. State and local officials advise area residents to prepare for a mixture of snow and sleet predicted to fall throughout the weekend. (Dave Zajac/Record-Journal via AP)
Motor graders plow Rosser Avenue as snow falls, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, in Bismarck, N.D. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Motor graders plow Rosser Avenue as snow falls, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, in Bismarck, N.D. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
A Pennsylvania Department of Transportation road treatment truck pulls in to attach a plow at a storage facility in Franklin Park, Pa. on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. Weather forecasters are are predicting a heavy weekend snow storm across Pennsylvania and surrounding states. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
A Pennsylvania Department of Transportation road treatment truck pulls in to attach a plow at a storage facility in Franklin Park, Pa. on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. Weather forecasters are are predicting a heavy weekend snow storm across Pennsylvania and surrounding states. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
A man walks downtown during a snow storm in Sioux Falls, S.D., Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds.
(Loren Townsley/The Argus Leader via AP)
A man walks downtown during a snow storm in Sioux Falls, S.D., Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds. (Loren Townsley/The Argus Leader via AP)
Father and son John, left, and Johnny Nagel were dressed for the cold temperatures on Friday while shoveling snow outside their north Bismarck, N.D., home Friday, Jan. 18, 2019,. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
Father and son John, left, and Johnny Nagel were dressed for the cold temperatures on Friday while shoveling snow outside their north Bismarck, N.D., home Friday, Jan. 18, 2019,. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
A mechanic changes out used tires as Walliingford Public Works crews prepare for the incoming storm, Fri., Jan. 18, 2019. State and local officials advise area residents to prepare for a mixture of snow and sleet predicted to fall throughout the weekend. (Dave Zajac/Record-Journal via AP)
A mechanic changes out used tires as Walliingford Public Works crews prepare for the incoming storm, Fri., Jan. 18, 2019. State and local officials advise area residents to prepare for a mixture of snow and sleet predicted to fall throughout the weekend. (Dave Zajac/Record-Journal via AP)
Water starts to freeze over during a snow storm in Sioux Falls, S.D., Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds.
(Loren Townsley/The Argus Leader via AP)
Water starts to freeze over during a snow storm in Sioux Falls, S.D., Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds. (Loren Townsley/The Argus Leader via AP)
Former Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins (AHL) head coach Glenn Patrick, uses a snow thrower to clear snow off a new ice skating rink in Dallas, Pa., Friday Jan. 18, 2019.  (Mark Moran/The Citizens' Voice via AP)
Former Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins (AHL) head coach Glenn Patrick, uses a snow thrower to clear snow off a new ice skating rink in Dallas, Pa., Friday Jan. 18, 2019. (Mark Moran/The Citizens' Voice via AP)
A man walks through the snow across the Market Street Bridge in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Friday Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds.  (Mark Moran /The Citizens' Voice via AP)
A man walks through the snow across the Market Street Bridge in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Friday Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds. (Mark Moran /The Citizens' Voice via AP)
Passengers exit Southwest Airlines flight 1643 after the plane slid off the runway at Eppley Airfield Friday, Jan 18, 2019, in Omaha, Neb. (Ryan Soderlin/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
Passengers exit Southwest Airlines flight 1643 after the plane slid off the runway at Eppley Airfield Friday, Jan 18, 2019, in Omaha, Neb. (Ryan Soderlin/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
A woman rides her bike downtown during a snow storm in Sioux Falls, S.D., Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds.
(Loren Townsley/The Argus Leader via AP)
A woman rides her bike downtown during a snow storm in Sioux Falls, S.D., Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds. (Loren Townsley/The Argus Leader via AP)