"70 million people will potentially be affected by this storm system across the Plains states, bringing blizzard conditions, potential tornadoes and flash flooding", Dean said Wednesday on "FOX & friends". Per CNN, "more than [45 million] people are under a high wind threat; more than 10 million are under winter storm threats; and more than 15 million are under a flood threat". Heavy snow is expected in portions of the Rockies and northern Plains, including Denver into Thursday.
Meanwhile, thunderstorms were expected to keep pushing eastward Wednesday from the Southern Plains to the lower to middle Mississippi Valley. "Travel will be risky, if not impossible", the NWS says. Snow will blanket the areas where blizzard conditions are likely, such as parts of Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. On Twitter, the weather service warned residents to "cancel any travel plans Wednesday afternoon and evening". This is a unsafe winter storm! The majority of disruptions were for flights in and out of Denver International Airport.
Denver itself is expected to get snow accumulations of about 5 to 8 inches.
Multiple Colorado school districts, including the Denver Public Schools are closed Wednesday "due to severe weather and road conditions", the district announced Tuesday.
Thunderstorms across portions of the southern Plains will make way for sustained winds of 35 to 45 miles per hour, akin to the strength of a low-end tropical storm. "This will be one of the strongest wind events in years for West Texas and Southeast New Mexico".
Sustained wind speeds of 30 to 40 miles per hour are expected across New Mexico, western Texas, central to western Oklahoma, central to western Kansas and southeast Colorado, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm is forecast to rapidly intensify overnight Wednesday east of the Colorado Rockies and trek slowly northeast through Thursday, delivering a variety of extreme weather from New Mexico to the Midwest.
The NWS has issued flood watches along the Missouri River throughout the Midwest and Great Plains through midday Thursday.