This multi-day storm comes with a second and third punch.
The storm already left more than a foot of snow in the Sierras on Christmas Eve.
That snow will continue through the day Thursday. Precipitation should change back to snow Friday afternoon as much colder air moves in.
Snow accumulations may be in the 15 to 25 centimetre range. Northern mountain areas will get one to three inches of snow and just a few flurries will be possible in Denver and across the eastern plains.
More than 7 inches has been reported by WCCO Weather Watchers in northwestern cities like Underwood and Ottertail.
Temperatures should remain mild into the early morning hours Thursday with highs in the 30s by 4 a.m. and wind gusts as high as 20 mph. An additional 1 to 3 inches of snow may fall from Thursday night to Friday, which is enough to make roads slippery again.
ABC News Severe storms will move through Louisiana Mississippi and Alabama by 7 p.m. on Thursday
The Weather Service expects another 8-12 inches of snow through noon Friday, with the highest totals expected in the Grand Marais area and along the North Shore to the Ontario border. In Wadena County, the snow accumulation may range from 5-12 inches with wind gusts as high as 40 miles per hour.
The combination of increasing wind and the dry, powdery nature of the snow can create blizzard conditions at times over portions of the central High Plains to parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Blowing and drifting snow could make for extremely hard travel conditions this evening, the Weather Service reported.
The winter storm warning extends south of St. Cloud.
The winter weather advisory that had been issued for Renville and Redwood counties has expired. The National Weather Service (NWS) does not name winter storms.
The rain, and snow to the north, will move into the Ohio Valley and reach north to New England overnight Thursday into Friday morning. Speicher said once wind gusts reach full force driving will become incredibly hard.