The first major snowstorm of the season is sweeping across Kansas City on Thursday, shuttering schools and creating treacherous roadways.
Forecasters warned that heavy snowfall coupled with strong winds would create blizzard conditions for morning commuters from Kansas to Wisconsin.
All of the largest school districts in the Kansas City area canceled classes because of heavy overnight snow, as did many districts across Kansas and Missouri, where drivers were being told to stay off the roads starting Wednesday evening because of whiteout conditions.
KCTV5 meteorologist Tom Wachs said as of 10:50 a.m., Liberty and Olathe were reporting 1 to 3 inches of snow and St. Joe with 3 to 4 inches along with 54 mph wind gusts.
"We've seen reports of thundersnow across parts of the area. Thundersnow is rare, and when it happens it means that the snow is falling at 2 to 3 inches per hour," Wachs said.
As the snow continues to move east and weaken, Wachs said it will be just as cold and blustery Thursday afternoon with the sun coming out.
Wind chills will remain in the teens (if not single digits) throughout the afternoon.
Roads will likely remain a bit slick this afternoon, as road crews continue to tackle them.
"Latest model data takes the Christmas Day storm east of us, leaving us with just a few snow showers," Wachs said.
Kimberly Qualls, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Transportation, said that many roads are snow-packed and travel remains difficult, particularly in northeast Kansas.
She said the high winds were blowing snow back onto roads as soon as it was removed, causing several vehicles to slide off roads.
Snow blown by strong winds closed parts of Interstate 29 and made driving hazardous throughout northwest Missouri.
Missouri transportation officials closed sections of Interstate 29 near St. Joseph and Kansas City International Airport early Thursday because of traffic accidents.
The slippery conditions caused a brief problem for a FedEx Corp. jet at the Kansas City International Airport. Airport spokesman Joe McBride says the jet landed safely but was not able to turn at the end of runway, although it didn't go off the pavement.
The plane was towed to a gate. It did not cause any flight delays for the public.
The weather has prompted Delta and United Airlines to allow many affected travelers to change schedules without incurring fees.
Kansas City Power & Light reported about 32,000 scattered power outages in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas, and schools throughout the region closed.
The heaviest snow is expected across a swath extending from northwest Missouri into Milwaukee, Chicago and Michigan, with predictions of as much as a foot of snow in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.
Before the storm, several cities in the Midwest had broken records for the number of consecutive days without measurable snow.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Blowing snow, slick spots cause headache for motoristsMore>>
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:23:41 GMT
The National Weather Service says there is a slight risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.The threat for severe weather will continue into Monday.StormsMore >
The National Weather Service said there is a moderate risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:27 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:27:31 GMT
Students are calling the death of a Harrisonville teen a rude awakening. Troopers said 16-year-old Savannah Nash pulled in front of a semi Thursday at Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. Savannah wasMore >
The deadly accident near Harrisonville is an opportunity for parents to talk to their teens about texting and driving, but now several smartphone companies have created apps that could put a stop to some of the dangerous behavior.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:57 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:57:19 GMT
It can be a little disconcerting spotting a wild animal in your backyard, but it's happening more and more lately. People in Mission, KS, said they're seeing coyotes near their homes – something that'sMore >
People in Mission, KS, said they're seeing coyotes near their homes - something that's becoming so common the city is offering advice on how to avoid them.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 4:52 PM EDT2013-05-17 20:52:00 GMT
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.She is recovering at Children's Mercy Hospital with a broken arm, ruptured ear drum and fractured pelvis. Her family isMore >
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:04 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:04:56 GMT
One child was sent to the hospital when a go-cart they were riding in collided with an SUV Saturday afternoon. Police said the wreck happened about 2:30 p.m. in the area of 55th Street and Cambridge Avenue.More >
Two children were sent to the hospital when a go-cart they were riding in collided with an SUV on Saturday afternoon.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:38 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:38:11 GMT
It's the largest Powerball jackpot in history and Saturday night everyone's talking about the record $600 million prize. Locally, a Dearborn couple made Powerball history in November by winning half ofMore >
It's the largest Powerball jackpot in history, and Saturday night everyone's talking about the record $600 million prize.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 6:47 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:47:09 GMT
Imagine suffering a medical emergency in a foreign country, half a world away. It happened to a man from Overland Park, KS, in Japan. Now, his family is trying to come up with a way to get him home whereMore >
An Overland Park family is trying to raise enough money to get their son back to the U.S. from Japan after he suffered a massive stroke in the other country.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:55:42 GMT
It's a game of skill and chance and the best part is it was designed by two Kansas City natives. Now they're hoping their early success pays off. It may look like just a game, but to Ryan Drews and MaxMore >
A local group of friends have created a new board game they hope to have on store shelves soon. The game's goal is to grow a city and defeat your enemies.More >