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A sprawling winter storm is spreading snow along a 1,500-mile path from Denver to New York City. It will crank up on Friday and should last until at least late Sunday before it peters out.
As of late Thursday, over 20 million people were in the path of the storm, the Weather Service said.
Other big cities in the path of the storm include Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Washington and Baltimore. St. Louis should see the most snow from the storm, with as much as 8 inches likely. Snow should start there on Friday morning, potentially leading to commuting issues.
For many areas, this will be a long-duration winter storm event that lasts more than 12 hours and perhaps as much as 48 hours in some cases, AccuWeather said.
Most of the snow should be over for the NFL playoff game Saturday in Kansas City between the Chiefs and Colts, though some light snow is possible during the late afternoon game.
While not a blockbuster blizzard, the snow should be heavy enough to cause some travel troubles on both roads and in the air. It’s the first significant snowstorm of the winter so far in some areas, so “extra caution is advised when traveling as some motorists may be rusty with their winter driving skills,” AccuWeather meteorologist Elliott Abrams said.
Along the southern edge of the storm, ice or a wintry mix is likely from southern Kansas to northern Arkansas, along with southern Kentucky and northern Tennessee.
By Saturday and into Sunday, the storm will slide toward the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic areas.The weather service predicts lighter amounts, in the 2-4 inch range, for the Mid-Atlantic Saturday night into Sunday.
Snow isn’t expected to fall on the NFL playoff game Sunday afternoon in Foxborough, Massachusetts, between the Chargers and the Patriots.
In the Deep South, all the precipitation from the storm will fall as a cold rain.
The Weather Channel has named the storm Winter Storm Gia. No other weather company, nor the National Weather Service, uses that name.