Record-breaking blizzard continues to slam Rockies, Northern Plains

PHOTO: Traffic backs up along 56th Avenue as a spring storm rolls in before the evening rush hour Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Denver.PlayAP Photo/David Zalubowski
WATCH Spring snow storm hits more than 20 states

A record-breaking April blizzard continues to slam the Plains with gusty winds, blinding snow and severe thunderstorms on Thursday.

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Parts of Wyoming and South Dakota had already piled up 18 inches of snow by Thursday morning -- and the total continued to mount. In Colorado, Denver got about 3 to 4 inches of snow, while mountains to the west got up to 9 inches. Minneapolis saw about 5 to 6 inches by early Thursday as the snow continued to fall.

The blizzard warning was cancelled in Denver by early Thursday and downgraded to a winter weather advisory as the storm moves out of Colorado.

Twenty-two states from the Rockies into the Ohio Valley are under snow and high wind alerts on Thursday morning.

PHOTO: Storm alerts are in place across most of the central U.S. for snow and wind. ABC News
Storm alerts are in place across most of the central U.S. for snow and wind.

The storm system is centered near Omaha, Nebraska, on Thursday morning with heavy snow continuing from Kansas to Wisconsin.

Snowfall rates Thursday morning in some areas are 1 to 2 inches per hour with winds gusting near 50 mph.

PHOTO: Blizzard conditions are expected in Nebraska and South Dakota on Thursday morning. ABC News
Blizzard conditions are expected in Nebraska and South Dakota on Thursday morning.

The storm system moves north Thursday afternoon and evening into the Dakotas and Minnesota, with blizzard conditions continuing from Nebraska to the Dakotas and into northern and western Minnesota.

Snow and ice will also fall in Wisconsin and part of northern Michigan, but it is not expected to be as severe as in the Plains.

The Twin Cities will be on the eastern side of the storm, so snow will change to rain as milder air gets pushed north ahead of the storm.

To the southeast, from Iowa into Illinois and Indiana, severe thunderstorms are possible with damaging winds, hail and an isolated tornado.

PHOTO: In addition to blizzard conditions in the Northern Plains, severe storms will move through Illinois and Indiana late Thursday. ABC News
In addition to blizzard conditions in the Northern Plains, severe storms will move through Illinois and Indiana late Thursday.

By Friday morning, the storm system slowly lifts north into the western Great Lakes. It will continue to bring heavy snow and gusty winds with near blizzard conditions for the eastern Dakotas and northern and western Minnesota.

A threat for strong to severe storms will continue east of the storm in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The biggest threat will be hail and gusty winds with lightning.

PHOTO: The storm will move over the Great Lakes by Friday morning. ABC News
The storm will move over the Great Lakes by Friday morning.

Additional snowfall of more than a foot is possible for the Dakotas and into Minnesota on Thursday. After Thursday morning’s heavy snow burst, the Twin Cities will be done with significant snow accumulation.

PHOTO: Over a foot of snow is possible in eastern South Dakota over the next 36 hours. ABC News
Over a foot of snow is possible in eastern South Dakota over the next 36 hours.
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