A dynamic winter storm is developing with snow, ice, high winds and a threat of tornadoes.

A dynamic winter storm is developing with snow, ice, high winds and a threat of tornadoes.

A severe winter storm is raging across the eastern half of the United States, bringing a variety of weather threats to the area, including heavy snowfall, destructive thunderstorms, and potential sporadic tornadoes.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued warnings for winter storms, high winds and thunderstorms and is monitoring a broad swath of the nation stretching 1,500 miles from western Oklahoma to northern Maine Thursday through Friday.

The system was expected to bring rapid snowfall from Oklahoma to Michigan and the northeast, threatening the Mississippi and Tennessee through Ohio and the northeast with severe thunderstorms, the NWS said.

A dynamic winter storm is developing with snow, ice, high winds and a threat of tornadoes.

A band of heavy sleet is expected over northern Oklahoma, eastern Kansas, north-central Missouri and Illinois, northern Indiana, southern Michigan.

In central Missouri and Illinois, north-central Indiana and northern Ohio, localized heavy freezing rain and sleet are likely.

In central Missouri and Illinois, north-central Indiana and northern Ohio, localized heavy freezing rain and sleet are likely.

People walk down a snow-covered street in Kansas City, Missouri, as a winter storm moves through the region on Thursday.

People walk down a snow-covered street in Kansas City, Missouri, as a winter storm moves through the region on Thursday.

Image of flooding from Chippewa Creek flowing down Chippewa Creek Drive in Brexville, Ohio.

Image of flooding from Chippewa Creek flowing down Chippewa Creek Drive in Brexville, Ohio.

“This is a pretty powerful large-scale storm system that has a lot of different hazards associated with it, depending on where people are,” said NWS meteorologist Matt Beitscher, who is based in St. Louis. “In our area, road conditions are pretty treacherous.”

The National Weather Service confirmed to CNN that two tornadoes touched down about 30 miles north of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and a third tornado was reported in Pell City, east of Birmingham.

25,000 customers were left without power Thursday night in Alabama and about 9,000 in darkness in Mississippi.

The Met Office said snowfall exceeding 2 inches per hour and winds reaching 40 mph could severely reduce road visibility, with the heaviest snowfall of up to 8 inches in a region stretching from western Oklahoma to northern Maine.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued winter storm, high wind and thunderstorm warnings and is monitoring a broad band of the nation stretching 1,500 miles from western Oklahoma to northern Maine Thursday afternoon through Friday.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued winter storm, high wind and thunderstorm warnings and is monitoring a broad band of the nation stretching 1,500 miles from western Oklahoma to northern Maine Thursday afternoon through Friday.

Severe thunderstorms were observed over a large part of the eastern part of the country.

Severe thunderstorms were observed over a large part of the eastern part of the country.

1-2 inches of rain predicted through Friday

1-2 inches of rain predicted through Friday

The winter mixture of snow, ice and sheep could be seen for hundreds of miles from New York to Chicago.

The winter mixture of snow, ice and sheep could be seen for hundreds of miles from New York to Chicago.

It was snowing in upstate New York and there was a risk of ice on the roads.  Farther east, warmer temperatures meant that the real risk was rain.

It was snowing in upstate New York and there was a risk of ice on the roads. Farther east, warmer temperatures meant that the real risk was rain.

A dynamic winter storm is developing with snow, ice, high winds and a threat of tornadoes. A dynamic winter storm is developing with snow, ice, high winds and a threat of tornadoes.

About 200 flights were canceled to and from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, and another 270 were canceled to and from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

In total, about 1,000 flights were canceled in the United States on Thursday, according to Flightaware.com.

The storm was also predicted to bring potentially severe thunderstorms to Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas, where it could bring damaging wind gusts, heavy hail and sporadic tornadoes.

Rainfall of up to 2 inches was expected in the region, with more in places, raising the threat of flash floods.

Rescuers inspect a damaged mobile home after a possible tornado hit Leeds, Alabama Thursday.

Rescuers inspect a damaged mobile home after a possible tornado hit Leeds, Alabama Thursday.

Emergency personnel examine a damaged mobile home after a possible tornado passed by.

Emergency personnel examine a damaged mobile home after a possible tornado passed by.

The National Weather Service confirmed to CNN that two tornadoes touched down about 30 miles north of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and a third tornado was reported in Pell City, east of Birmingham.  Pictured: Leeds, Alabama, northeast of Birmingham.

The National Weather Service confirmed to CNN that two tornadoes touched down about 30 miles north of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and a third tornado was reported in Pell City, east of Birmingham. Pictured: Leeds, Alabama, northeast of Birmingham.

Several trees were knocked down by the tornado, which is believed to have landed

Several trees were knocked down by the tornado, which is believed to have landed

The storm was also accompanied by strong southerly winds reaching 50 mph, which could cut power lines and create dangerous conditions for traffic south into the Ohio Valley.

‘Watch out! In the next few hours, a strip of particularly intense snowfall will pass along the Chicago subway! The office of the National Weather Service tweeted this afternoon.

“Road conditions will remain poor simply because of the large amount of snow. By evening, the snow will narrow from west to east.”

The weather service said wind gusts could reach 65 mph in parts of southern New England on Thursday night.

Wind and drifting snow in downtown St. Joseph, Michigan, late Thursday evening.

Wind and drifting snow in downtown St. Joseph, Michigan, late Thursday evening.

Icicles dangle from the sidewalk as motorists drive down a snow-covered street in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

Icicles dangle from the sidewalk as motorists drive down a snow-covered street in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

A pedestrian crosses a snowy street in Kansas City, Missouri, during a winter storm.

A pedestrian crosses a snowy street in Kansas City, Missouri, during a winter storm.

A pedestrian walks down a snowy street in Kansas City, Missouri.

A pedestrian walks down a snowy street in Kansas City, Missouri.

Traffic in parts of Kansas City slowed Thursday morning as the storm passed.

Traffic in parts of Kansas City slowed Thursday morning as the storm passed.

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