Winter storms expected to create holiday travel havoc

Winter storms sweeping across the northern Plains, Upper Midwest and Southwest could bring holiday travel headaches.

A large winter storm was gaining strength in the Southwest and across the Rockies on Saturday after a morning of rain in Arizona and New Mexico that brought heavy snows to the mountains.

Image: Winter Storm

Snow accumulations of up to 12 to 18 inches are expected in some areas over the weekend with the highest levels of snowfall striking from northern Nebraska to northwest Minnesota.

Ice accumulation in Savage, Minnesota, was already so thick on Saturday morning that one boy was able to ice skate across the sidewalk.

Making matters only worse for travelers, gusty winds will cause thick snowdrifts and bring near-blizzard conditions to the same areas of the country where snow is forecast from Saturday night into Sunday morning, the National Weather Service reported. That will cause hazardous travel conditions that could affect airports in Minneapolis, Denver and Dallas.

More than 1,425 flights had been delayed and nearly 140 had been canceled by noon on Saturday.

26 PHOTOS
Arctic blast brings snow, ice and bone-chilling temps to U.S.
See Gallery
Arctic blast brings snow, ice and bone-chilling temps to U.S.
A woman walking the half mile from Chicago's Adler Planetarium to the Chicago Aquarium braces herself in the stiff wind and blowing snow off Lake Michigan, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
A woman walking the half mile from the Chicago Aquarium to the Adler Planetarium braces in a stiff wind and blowing snow off Lake Michigan, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
A woman walking the half mile from the Chicago Aquarium to the Adler Planetarium fights a stiff wind inverting her umbrella in the blowing snow off Lake Michigan, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
A lone hiker navigates the 31st street beach bike trail in a stiff wind and blowing snow off Lake Michigan, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
An American flag and a bouquet of flowers mark the grave of U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Shelby B. Harris who served in the Persian Gulf conflict in Fort Logan National Cemetery in Sheridan, Colo. The annual memorial service at the cemetery for Veterans Day was moved inside to mark the holiday as light snow and cold temperatures enveloped the intermountain West. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Jeremy Kohsman uses a leaf blower to remove the snow from his car in front of his home in Farmington Hills, Mich., Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)
Flint, Mich., residents traverse the snow as they walk into Flint City Hall to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Sheldon Neeley as the new mayor Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: As snow continues to fall a commuter waits for a bus in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A resident clears snow from her sidewalk in the Wicker Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A resident clears snow from her steps in the Wicker Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A cyclist rides along a snow-covered street in the Wicker Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: Snow covers bicycles in the Bucktown neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A resident walks through snow with her child in the Wicker Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees Fahrenheit by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A jogger runs through a snow-covered Humboldt Park on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A resident plays with his dog as snow falls in Humboldt Park on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A cyclist navigates a snow-covered street in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A resident walks his dog through a snow-covered Humboldt Park on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A person cleans their car during a snow storm on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: A worker shovels snow from a sidewalk n the Humboldt Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on November 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Forecasters are calling for three to six inches of snow to fall in the Chicago area by mid-day today and temperatures are expected to fall to around ten degrees by tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Pedestrians in downtown Chicago bundle up from the wind and snow during the early morning rush hour as a winter weather advisory is issued for the Chicago area Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Snow and rain make for a messy drive to work during the early morning rush hour as a winter weather advisory is issued for the Chicago area Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Pedestrians in downtown Chicago bundle up from the wind and snow during the early morning rush hour as a winter weather advisory is issued for the Chicago area Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
A maintenance worker spreads salt in the area around Cloud Gate during a morning rush hour snow storm as a winter weather advisory is issued for the Chicago area on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Maintenance workers clear the snow around Cloud Gate during a morning rush hour snow storm as a winter weather advisory is issued for the Chicago area Monday Nov. 11, 2019. (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story