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Spring Storms Bring Blast of Snow, Thunderstorms, Tornado Risk

by Corky Siemaszko and Tim Stelloh /  / Updated 

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It's springtime in America — blizzards in Colorado, severe thunderstorms across the still soggy South, more than 9 million people facing nasty weather.

Somewhere the sun is shining and the birds are chirping — but not in Denver and most of northeastern Colorado, where powerful winds and an anticipated eight to 12 inches of snow turned into more than twice that in some areas, NBC affiliate KUSA reported.

Lisa Rose tries dig her car out of a parking lot in Monument, Colo., on March 23. A powerful spring blizzard stranded travelers at Denver's airport and shut down hundreds of miles of highway in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska as it spread into the Midwest on Wednesday.Jerilee Bennett / The Gazette via AP

In Boulder, more than 25 inches of snow fell, according to the station, while in Southeast Denver, nearly 20 inches were recorded. Shelters were opened for stranded motorists and National Guard troops were deployed to assist.

Tens of thousands of people lost power, the Weather Channel reported, and the Federal Aviation Administration ordered a halt to all flights coming into Denver International Airport on Wednesday morning after it was hit with a series of outages, the Denver Post reported.

The band Fall Out Boy even canceled a show in Colorado Springs — despite the concert venue, Broadmoor World Arena, initially promising that the group was playing as scheduled and that it would "not be issuing refunds due to weather."

"Please drive slowly and safely!" a Facebook post read. After a brief revolt, and angry fans excoriating Broadmoor on its page, the venue reversed course.

In Wyoming, the storm closed more than 300 miles of the state's major interstate, I-80, The Weather Channel reported, and several more states were preparing for the worst. In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency, and in Minnesota, officials urged people to stay off the roads.

That same storm front will produce "life-threatening severe thunderstorms" Wednesday afternoon and evening from St. Louis to Shreveport, Louisiana, NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins said. A few tornadoes are possible, along with straight-line winds and hail.

Meanwhile, the South still drying out from days of rain and violent thunderstorms earlier this month that killed six people and forced thousands more to flee their homes. And more miserable weather was in the forecast.

Damaging thunderstorms and large hail were expected to belt the region Wednesday from the Missiissippi Valley into eastern Texas, The Weather Channel reported.

The Northeast could get a taste of what's nailing Denver late Thursday into Friday when the cold front "slides eastward" bringing with his possibly heavy rainstorms, meteorologist Brian Ciemnecki of the National Weather Service told NBC News.

"New York City and Philadelphia should stay dry for the most part," said Ciemnecki.

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