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Powerful winter storm targets 20 U.S. states


Staff writers
February 21, 2013 — Millions of people are in the path of a major winter storm that is affecting roughly 20 U.S. states.


Satellite imagery depicting the size of the storm (courtesy: NOAA)
Satellite imagery depicting the size of the storm (courtesy: NOAA)

A powerful storm system is moving through the midsection of the U.S., bringing heavy snow, strong winds and freezing rain to the south and Midwest.

The NOAA satellite picture captures the massive size of the system.

Hundreds of snow plows and salters deployed on highways across the nation's heartland on Wednesday. They were working to stay ahead of the storm that had already dumped over 15 cm of snow on some places. 

Winter storm warnings were issued from Colorado through Illinois with upwards of 30 cm expected in the hardest hit areas.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service say the storm was moving a bit slower than originally expected, but it's still very active and has proved extremely dangerous for drivers.

Snowstorm causing dangerous conditions on the roads
Snowstorm causing dangerous conditions on the roads

The system has left snow in parts of Arizona as well, where officials were forced to suspend the first round of a golf tournament in Tucson Wednesday.  

Meanwhile, a separate snowstorm caught many people by surprise in northern California, where hundreds of drivers were stranded on mountain highways late Tuesday.

Wednesday was another traffic nightmare for some motorists as an icy Interstate-15 resulted in an eight vehicle pileup. 

Conditions are expected to improve as the storm gradually makes its way east Thursday. 

Still, officials fear this winter storm could be the worst in the Midwest since the Groundhog Day blizzard in 2011. The two day storm was blamed for about two dozen deaths. 

With files from CNN


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