Severe Weather Heads for Chicago and Midwest

January 31, 2011 Updated: February 1, 2011

A major blizzard will hit Chicago and other Midwest cities beginning Tuesday afternoon, just before Groundhog Day, according to a warning issued by the National Weather Service (NWS).

The blizzard and ice storm is expected to last longer than normal winter storms, with "snow accumulations in excess of a foot,” leading to traffic blockage and power outages among the possible impacts.

The entire Midwestern Region will be affected by the storm, especially from Central and Northeast Missouri to West Central Illinois.

Airlines are warning passengers that they may be stuck at airports as the snowfalls may lead to flight cancellations.

The NWS warned the public not to travel due to the predicted poor visibility and whiteout conditions.

Many accidents have already occurred in the Minneapolis area due to the snow and rain falls, and weather conditions are expected to worsen.

For many cities, snow and rain turn into ice, and the weight of the ice and snow could possibly cause power lines to snap.

The winter storm warning will remain in effect until 6 a.m. CST Tuesday and the blizzard warning until Wednesday noon.