TODAY   |  April 09, 2013

Spring snowstorm blankets Midwest

A surprise spring snowstorm is closing roads and grounding flights in the Midwest, just a day after much of the region experienced temperatures in the 70s. The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel and TODAY’s Al Roker report.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> savannah this morning. the snow coming down in aurora, colorado just outside of denver this morning. they can see nearly a foot by the time this storm gets through. it's amazing.

>> consider this. it was 71 degrees there on monday. today it's expected to be about 25 for the high. that's not the only major concern. this morning there's the threat of tornadoes in the middle part of the country so let's go to al roker who has the forecast.

>> again we're talking about a place where, as you said it was in the low 70s. today they cancelled over 300 flights right now at denver international arraignment. mike seidel is in aurora, california. the temperatures are plunging. temperature of 1 degree?

>> wind chill down around zero. we went down 56 degrees in aurora since dinner time last night. what a wild evening between 5 and 8:00 we went from 68 to 35 degrees. airport is up and running. about 15% of the flight schedule has been cancelled. many schools have been closed. so far so good we're out on i-70. i-70 and i-25 two major interstates here in colorado are open. sections of i-80 and i-25 are closed in wyoming. we could see record cold tonight and tomorrow here on the front range.

>> mike, thank you so much. again as we put the radar up and show you. look at the wide area. huge storm stretching all the way into the dakotas and in fact we have winter storm warnings, blizzard warnings and we got winter weather advisories stretching from utah all the way up into minnesota this morning. snowfall amounts we'll be talking about anywhere nine to 12 inches but in the dakotas we could be talking about 18 inches to two feet of snow before this is all over. ahead of this system we got record breaking temperatures and that's going to be causing big problems. we have a risk of strong storms from central texas into central iowa. the strongest risk from wichita falls to tulsa, hails of two inches or greater and rainfall that will dump anywhere four to six inches of rain in some spots. you can see it is going to be a massive storm. by tomorrow hoda we're talking about temperatures in washington, d.c. flirting with 90 degrees .

>> wow. all right, al thanks a lot.