Winter Storm Warning starts tonight at 6pm...BLIZZARD Waring Thursday starting at 6 pm.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service

Today is the first official day of winter, and boy is it going to be one heck of a start.  National Weather Service has been predicting a major snowstorm for the past week or more....and now it looks like their prediction is about to come true.

In addition to tonight's Winter Storm Warning, the National Weather Service has now issued a Blizzard Warning starting Thursday night at 6 and running through Saturday morning.


The warning covers an area that includes Dubuque, Clayton, Delaware, Jackson and Jones counties in Iowa and Jo Daviess County in Illinois.

Forecasters note that ground blizzard conditions are expected even after snow has stopped falling, with "occasional whiteouts in open and rural areas," according to the weather service.

Winds are expected to gust as high as 50 mph during the blizzard warning, with wind chills dropping as low as 40 degrees below zero.  These types of temperatures can cause frostbite on exposed skin "in as little as 10 minutes,

Blowing snow could reduce visibility to less than a quarter mile, and slippery road conditions are expected. Forecasters advised restricting travel to emergencies only and asked that anyone who does go out keep an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicles in case of an emergency.

Experts are suggesting you plan holiday travel around peak hours of the storm, either before or after impacts."

Here's a breakdown of the next several days.

Tonight: Snow could be locally heavy at times. Roads will be snow covered and slick.  Temperatures are in the teens until about 3 AM then fall to single digits below zero by sunrise. Winds: Increasing late from the NW at 10-20 mph. Wind chills: 10-30 below zero.

Thursday: Snow tapers off from west to east around noon. Storm total snow: 3-6”. Cloudy sky for the afternoon. Strong winds (NW 20-30 mph Gusts: 40 mph) may cause blizzard conditions, especially in the open areas. Travel becomes more difficult as the day goes on. Temperatures hold steady in the single digits below zero. Wind chills are 25-35 below zero.

Thursday Night: Cloudy with temperatures dropping to around 12 below zero. Blowing snow with near blizzard conditions. Winds are from the northwest at 20-30 mph. Gusts: 40 mph. Wind chills are 30-45 below zero.

Friday: Cloudy, strong winds. and cold. Winds from the northwest at 25-35 mph and gusts to 50 mph will cause blowing snow and near blizzard conditions. Travel will be difficult if not impossible especially in the open areas.  High temperatures are in the single digits below zero while wind chills are in the 25-35 below zero range.

Friday Night: The sky remains cloudy and the wind increases. Wind gusts to 50 mph are expected to cause blizzard conditions. Travel will be difficult if not impossible. Temperatures drop to near 10 below zero with wind chills of 30-45 below zero.

Saturday: Sunny, windy, and cold. The wind is the strongest in the morning with gusts to 40 mph. The wind doesn’t begin to lighten up until after sunset. So, blowing snow and near blizzard conditions are possible during the day. High temperatures struggle to reach zero.

Christmas Day: It is a cold start to the day with morning lows about 15 below zero. The day starts out sunny with the sky becoming cloudy by early afternoon. High temperatures warm to near 8 with a light south wind.

LOOK: The most extreme temperatures in the history of every state

Stacker consulted 2021 data from the NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to illustrate the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state. Each slide also reveals the all-time highest 24-hour precipitation record and all-time highest 24-hour snowfall.

Keep reading to find out individual state records in alphabetical order.

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