ST. LOUIS (February 21, 2013)--A winter storm that moved into the nation's midsection was producing blinding snow sometimes accompanied by thunder and lightning Thursday, causing whiteout conditions, and leaving major roadways nearly impassable.
Schools and state legislatures have been shut down.
Wichita, Kan. was buried under more than a foot of snow, and snow was still coming down.
Winter storm warnings extended from eastern Colorado through Illinois.
Freezing rain and sleet were in the forecast for southern Missouri, southern Illinois and Arkansas, and St. Louis is expected to see a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.
Several accidents were caused by icy roadways, including a wreck in Oklahoma that killed a teenager Wednesday.
Kansas City's airport had to shut down this morning because of heavy snowfall.
Dozens of flights have been canceled in St. Louis.
Transportation officials in Kansas were urging people to stay home. Major highways are snow-packed and icy, and have poor visibility.