A spring storm dropped snow and rain on the central plains and spawned a tornado in Texas on Friday as the storm headed toward the East Coast, where it was expected to create a messy weekend.
Up to 8 inches of snow fell over parts of western Kansas by early afternoon, making driving tougher and forcing some schools to close early. Southeastern Colorado was expecting to end up with no more than 7 inches – far less than the 18 inches initially forecast in some places.
As the storm moved east, a tornado was spotted near Bedford, a suburb in between Dallas and Forth Worth, Texas, according to the National Weather Service.
Thousands of fans who showed up to watch qualifying were being advised to move to safety as tornado sirens blared at the speedway.
The storm could bring more severe weather to northern Louisiana and southwest Arkansas today, the National Weather Service said. Winds up to 25 mph were forecast for the Carolinas before the storm hit the Northeast with heavy snow or rain by Sunday.
In Kansas, authorities discouraged motorists from heading out Friday, said trooper Ron Knoefel in Garden City.
“The visibility is just terrible, and we continue to get snow as we speak,” he said.
The storm’s combination of snow, rain and high wind was unusual for this time of year, said Brian Korty, a National Weather Service forecaster in Camp Springs, Md.
It follows an earlier system that grounded hundreds of flights in the Midwest on Wednesday before delivering up to a foot fresh snow to northern New England on Friday.