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Plains/Midwest Blizzard: Feb 23-24 – 66 stores

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Original Issuance 4:00pm CT Feb 19]

Another in a series of major winter storms will be moving from the Southwest U.S. across the Plains, Midwest, and Great Lakes during the upcoming weekend. This storm looks to be the strongest in the series with a broad band of heavy snow, very strong winds, and debilitating conditions across parts of the region. Due to higher confidence in the magnitude of this system (a good old fashioned blizzard) at this lead time, we are initiating this WTA as a Warning. Thus, we advise preparatory action for major supply chain impacts prior to the onset of this major winter storm. The main forecast risks would be north/south shifts of this WTA due to the details of the storm track.

Snowfall accumulations of 5-10 inches over a large area with 10-16 inches in the core of the WTA are expected from eastern Colorado/western Kansas to parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Very strong winds of 30-40 mph with gusts to 50-60 mph + are expected over most of the WTA area. This will create a blizzard across the Plains and western Midwest with white-out conditions, extensive blowing and drifting, and extremely dangerous road, rail, and air travel.

Impacted Major Highways within the risk zone:
Major interstates within the risk zone that will experience moderate to major impact include: I-35, I-90, I-94, I-80, I-70, and I-35. Impacts will include a variety of issues ranging from reduced speeds to major slow-downs, to road closures for approximately 24 hours.

Business Operations, Loading/Unloading Freight, and Intermodal Ramp Operations, Air Travel:
Business operations are likely to be severely disrupted for several days as workers experience difficulties making it to work due harsh travel conditions. Additionally, loading/unloading of freight and intermodal ramp operations are likely to be disrupted/delayed in the impacted areas. Air travel will be seriously impacted with hundreds of flight cancellations at airports within the zone.

Cities Impacted:
Minneapolis, MN, Omaha, NE, Sioux Falls, SD, Des Moines, IA, Madison, WI

Agriculture Impacts:
Snow and winds will cause major stress on livestock and disrupt transportation/movement of livestock for a few days.

Energy Impacts:
Minor to moderate power outages possible with even major outages likely in the hardest hit areas.


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