This is a unsafe winter storm!
The storm, now brewing as low-pressure center in the southwest, will quickly move into the Rocky Mountains and deliver one to two feet of snow. More than 55 people million are under a high wind threat; more than 10 million are under winter storm threats; and more than 17 million are under a flood threat.
"Snow and gusty winds from Ulmer continue from the Colorado Rockies to western South Dakota and much of Wyoming".
Strong winds could lead to widespread power outages, USA Today reported. "Heavy rains. isolated flooding and severe weather will accompany these thunderstorms as they march fairly quickly eastward", the weather service said. Hazards include heavy snow and severe storms with possible tornadoes and flooding into Thursday.
Sustained wind speeds of 30 mph to 40 mph with gusts of more than 60 mph are expected over most of New Mexico, western Texas, central and western Oklahoma.
Blowing dust will reduce visibility to less than a mile at times. "DO NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO DRIVE IN THIS STORM!" the weather service's office in Boulder said on Twitter.
The biggest air travel hub likely to be affected by the snow is Denver International Airport.
More than 100,000 electric power customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were left in the dark early on Wednesday after a line of rain squalls associated with the system moved through the area.
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Hundreds of flights bound for, or departing from, the Denver airport were canceled.
Frontier Airlines also was watching the weather and bracing for cancellations and delays. According to FlightAware, more than 1,400 Wednesday flights have already been canceled.
"We could have the potential for major river flooding, given the rain and the snow melt", said meteorologist Mark Chenard of the NWS.
More than six inches of heavy, wet snow is expected in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and the Dakotas. By Friday the storm will hit Tennessee and parts of MS and northern Louisiana where as much as 4 inches of rain could fall and tornadoes are expected.
A powerful winter storm bearing down on the central U.S.is expected to impact areas from the Central Rockies to the Mississippi Valley and Upper Great Lakes, according to the National Weather Service.
"The heavy snow and visibility near zero will create extremely unsafe travel conditions, and power outages are also possible", according to the National Weather Service. Parts of Kansas and southeastern Colorado will also see high winds.