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2nd blizzard in less than week slams Plains region

By COMPILED BY ARKANSASONLINE STAFF FROM WIRE REPORTS

This article was originally published February 25, 2013 at 8:34 a.m. Updated February 25, 2013 at 9:19 a.m.

— A new round of heavy snow is moving across the Great Plains, closing highways and airports and threatening parts of the Midwest that received more than a foot last week.

National Weather Service officials in Kansas and Oklahoma issued blizzard warnings and watches through late Monday as the storm packing snow and high winds tracked eastward across west Texas toward Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Forecasters also warned of possible tornadoes further southeast.

Interstate 40 and several secondary roads have been closed near Amarillo, Texas, according to the state Transportation Department’s website. Amarillo and Lubbock international airports shut, the Federal Aviation Administration reported.

“Snow and blowing snow will reduce visibility to zero at times, producing white-out conditions in many spots,” the National Weather Service said. “Roads will be snow-packed and icy. Snow drifts 5 feet or higher in some areas will make driving impossible.”

The heavy snow may help alleviate some of the drought that has plagued the central U.S. since last year and Texas since 2011, said Tom Kines, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

“No doubt there are some positives out of this,” Kines said.

Blizzard warnings stretch from eastern New Mexico through the Texas panhandle into Oklahoma and Kansas, according to the weather service. Winter storm warnings and advisories reach across Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois into Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

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