Monster snowstorm to blanket more than half of United States

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The Chicago area could start to see snowfall starting late Friday and going much of the day Saturday as most of IL was under winter storm warnings and advisories, with up to 9 inches of snow forecast for southwest parts of the state. Southwest Virginia could see 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of snow.

Sally Johnson, a meteorologist in St. Louis, says the storm has the potential to drop the most snow in five or six years. "We're going to see a significant snow event for the mid-Atlantic to start the year for 2019".

There are more than 40 million now under winter storm alerts, in what is the first big winter storm of the season for most areas.

In Indiana, the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 were closed for hours Saturday after a semitruck jackknifed along the snow-covered highway near Lafayette, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis.

St. Louis could get as much as a foot of snow by late Saturday, the National Weather Service said.

KOMU reported a plane slid off the runway at the Columbia Regional Airport in Missouri on Friday due to icy conditions.

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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. Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Saturday night to help the state of Virginia prepare.

"There's snow time like Showtime", the Chiefs said on Twitter, sharing video of the team's quarterback Patrick Mahomes arriving at the stadium in the snow. But it cited progress Saturday morning as crews worked to clear routes and bring "water and food to stranded motorists".

St. Louis Lambert International Airport spokesman Jeff Lea says airlines are canceling dozens of flights through Saturday morning.

A few major East Coast cities are likely to see some impact, including Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia, and there is a possibility for light accumulation in NY along the northern edge of the storm. Lower accumulations are expected in DE and Baltimore, as well as around Richmond, where precipitation Sunday should be freezing rain.

More heavy rain also will fall on the already-saturated South.

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