A storm system set to emerge from the Rockies later in the week will bring blizzard conditions to portions of the central Plains. Locally blinding, heavy snow is already blanketing the passes of the Rockies with wind-driven snow breaking out over portions of Kansas and northern Oklahoma, according to Accuweather.com.

The area of snow expanded last night reaching from Denver, Colo., to Grand Island, NE, and Kansas City, MO.

Snow will continue to expand to the north and east Thursday reaching Iowa, a large part of South Dakota, part of North Dakota, southern Minnesota, northern Illinois and central and southern Wisconsin.

Mostly snow is forecast to fall around Chicago later Thursday and Thursday night with the storm predicted to be the biggest storm of the winter so far. Accumulating snow can reach as far north as Minneapolis with significant snow likely over southern Wisconsin.
Expect travel problems due to snow and/or ice along I-29, I-35, I-70, I-80 and I-90.

Several hours of blizzard conditions are possible as far north as Omaha.

Wichita, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. will be on the edge of very heavy snow to the northwest and lesser snow to the southeast. North and west of these cities a foot or more of snow is possible.

Across central and southern Missouri to central Illinois, southward to portions of Arkansas a mixture of rain, ice and snow is forecast Thursday.

Farther south, the storm is likely to bring a significant severe weather outbreak from Texas to Mississippi spanning to Thursday night.