As of Friday afternoon, the NWS was forecasting snow probabilities in the Kearney area at 100 percent overnight Friday, 80 percent Saturday and 30 percent Saturday night, with blowing snow throughout those times. Dozens of school districts canceled classes ahead of snow accumulation expected to reach as much as 18 inches in some areas.
According to meteorologist Jaclyn Gomez with the National Weather Service, by noon Friday there was light drizzle in North Platte with winds reaching 22 miles per hour and gusts of 36 miles per hour. And Mankato was right about in the middle of the most severe band of weather.
This is an extremely unsafe winter storm.
Strong winds were expected to bluster into Sunday before tailing off as the day wore on.
The huge storm, packing enough energy to cause widespread disruption, isn't unprecedented for April, said Jake Beitlich, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Rainfall was forecast into Friday evening, with the changeover to snow around 9 p.m.
Expect plenty of sunshine through Wednesday, with highs staying in the 60s and 70s across the Denver area. No injuries were reported.
Zero visibility may make travel impossible in northeastern Colorado Friday and early Saturday.More news: High winds, dry weather bring Red Flag warnings
MnDOT asked motorists on the road to give plows plenty of space.
Traveling within Mankato wasn't any easier.
A massive storm system is bringing blizzards, tornadoes, freezing rain, high winds, fire danger and heavy snow to much of the nation Saturday and Sunday. The warning won't lift until Sunday morning.
Two storm-related deaths occurred early Saturday.
Severe thunderstorms also popped up to the north Friday morning in parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota.
"For them not to be able to compete with their canoes is frustrating", she said.
Even as the weather begins to warm up, winter has decided it is not quite done yet. The competition will have to be staged virtually.