Parts of four major interstate highways in the St. Louis area are backed up Friday night as Winter Storm Gia has announced her presence. Gia has most of the midwest in a winter storm warning, with anticipated snowfall ranging from 3 inches to more than a foot.
The storm is expected to cover half of the United States with snow and ice over the weekend, and more than 57 million people are expected to feel the wrath of Gia.
Gia, which is what The Weather Channel is calling it, should produce heavy snow and some ice accumulation in the Rockies and more than 1,000 miles eastward to Philadelphia and New Jersey. The storm is projected to affect North Carolina and Virgina, and power outages could happen along the storm's path.
"In much of swath from Missouri to southern Ohio, this will heavy and wet and a strain to shovel," AccuWeather meteorologist Bill Deger wrote in a blog post. "The snow will be wet and clinging in nature. Weak tree limbs may give way under the weight of the snow and lead to sporadic power outages."
Deger added that IH-44, IH-64 and IH-70 will be “slow and slippery” as snow accumulates over the next couple of days. In St. Louis on Friday night, parts of I-44, I-55, I-64 and I-70 were partially closed because of current snowfall, and more is on the way.
Much of the heart of Missouri is forecast to receive snow, ice or both throughout the night. The southern half of Iowa is getting ice and snow, and below Missouri, cold rain is falling on the Sun Belt.
The major airport hubs of Denver, St. Louis, Chicago and Cincinnati could expect long delays, directly impacted by snow from WS Gia. Passengers flying to or from outlying airports from Dallas to Detroit and Minneapolis will see residual delays from connecting flights.
© Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images An electronic board shows flight delays and cancellations at O'Hare International Airport after an early winter snowstorm left more than 7 inches of snow at the airport on November 26, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The storm also caused scores of traffic accidents and left thousands without power. Some locales along the projected path of Gia could receive up to a foot of snow through Sunday.
The tri-state area of Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio is under a winter storm warning, with many areas already declaring a snow emergency before the storm is expected to hit on Saturday, according to Fox 19 in Cincinnati.