By Trisha Ahmed and Jim Salter
A monster winter storm took aim at the Upper Midwest on Tuesday, threatening to bring blizzard conditions, bitterly cold temperatures and 2 feet of snow in a three-day onslaught that could affect more than 40 million Americans.
The storm was to begin around midday and continue through Thursday morning in parts of the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, with winds gusting as high as 50 mph in some places and wind chills as frigid as minus 50 degrees (minus 46 Celsius).
The snowfall could be historic, even in a region accustomed to heavy snow. As much as 25 inches may pile up, with the heaviest amounts falling across east-central Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin, the National Weather Service said.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul area could see 2 feet of snow or more for the first since in over 30 years.
Some families scrambled to get shopping done before the weather closed in. At a Costco in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park, Molly Schirmer stocked up on heat-and-serve dinners and Mexican Coca-Colas, knowing that she and her two teenagers might get stuck at home.