Posted On 18 Jan 2020
Massive winter storms are expected to roil much of the Midwest and the Northeast this weekend, with snow, ice, high winds and bone-chilling temperatures affecting nearly 100 million Americans across the country.
The National Weather Service issued winter alerts from the Plains to the Northeast, including blizzard warnings in portions of Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Snow and freezing rain was expected to snarl commutes as people headed into the holiday weekend.
Icy conditions were reported as early as Friday morning, prompting the Kansas City International Airport to close after a Delta flight — set to fly to Detroit with 129 passengers and crew — slid off a taxiway just before 6:30 a.m., NBC affiliate KSHB in Kansas City reported.
No one was injured, but flight arrivals and departures were halted from about 8:30 a.m. to just before noon Friday.
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The AFC title game, between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans, is set for 2:05 p.m. in Kansas City on Sunday, with temperatures forecast to be about 23 degrees with wind chills making it feel like 14 at kickoff, according to forecasts.
If football was to be played in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Sunday, fans would be shivering in temperatures between 23 degrees and 8 degrees.
But the NFC championship game — between the Packers and the host San Francisco 49ers — is being played on the West Coast. The mercury in rain-free Santa Clara, California, is expected to hover between a comfortable 45 degrees and 61 degrees Sunday.
Blizzard warnings have been issued for across South Dakota, where 4 to 8 inches of snow is expected to fall on Sioux Falls — with winds gusting up to 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Residents of Minneapolis also braced for a snowstorm that was expected to last into Saturday afternoon. Between 6 to 9 inches of snow is expected to fall on the Twin Cities.
It is expected to be all hands on deck at the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport as crews work to keep planes moving and passengers safe.
“I think of it as, if my family is on that plane, I want them to be safe,” Jeff Mattson, duty manager for the Airside Operations Center, told NBC affiliate KARE. “And if it’s a situation that is not safe, we’re not going to go down that road.”
Heavy snow is also forecast for Detroit where up to 8 inches is expected to fall between Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
Between 4 to 8 inches of snow is expected to come down in Hartford, Connecticut, between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Travel could be slippery on Interstate 95 between Washington, D.C. and Boston for much of Saturday.