NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Forecasters say a mixture of bad weather including heavy snow and tornadoes is expected as a strong storm system plows toward the central U.S. from the Rocky Mountains.
A blizzard warning was issued for Tuesday night and Wednesday in the Great Plains east of Denver, while tornadoes and high winds could rake parts of the Midwest on Wednesday.
“November has a history of producing some significant weather events. We will have to keep an eye on things,” said Greg Carbin, warning coordination meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
Wet, heavy snow fell in Nevada on Tuesday morning, shuttering schools in Reno and knocking out power to thousands before moving eastward. Northeastern Colorado and western Kansas and Nebraska expected 6 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 60 mph overnight — a combination that can cause white-out conditions.
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At Pi Kappa Cino Coffee in Sterling, Colorado, workers were checking their heaters and stocking up on coffee Tuesday to handle a busy morning on the first significant snowfall of the season.
“We always try to keep prepared for the winter, keeping extra water on hand and checking the heaters,” owner Patricia Prescott said. “Business normally picks up because everyone wants our warm drinks.”
Forecasters said an area from Nebraska to Illinois might face high winds, large hail and tornadoes Wednesday. A smaller threat existed across the Ozarks in Arkansas and Missouri, in the middle of the Mississippi River Valley, and as far south as central Texas.
The Storm Prediction Center’s midday forecast Tuesday cautioned 54 million people to be alert for severe weather Wednesday.