LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT/AP) - Snow has started to fall across much of Kentucky, hours after a strong cold front pushed through the state, bringing winds up to 55 miles per hour in places.
WKYT chief meteorologist Chris Bailey says gusty winds of up to 50 miles per hour will continue across the region into the overnight hours.
"Rounds of snow showers and squalls will increase during this time, and these two will team up to cause travel problems by morning," Bailey said.
Bailey forecasts up to two inches of snow in parts of eastern Kentucky, while the Lexington area could see anywhere from a coating to up to an inch of snow.
"The snow will come down pretty hard by Friday morning and that's when road conditions should take a turn for the worse," Bailey said. "Temps by then will bottom out in the low 20s and that means slick spots will develop."
Bailey says gusty winds will blow the snow around and make it feel like it's closer to 5 to 10 degrees at times.
Snow showers are forecast to end slowly from west to east Friday afternoon and evening.
Strong winds brought down trees and power lines in some parts of central Kentucky Thursday night. Winds even knocked down the city of Georgetown's Christmas tree.
At 11 p.m. Thursday, nearly 7,000 Kentucky Utilities customers were without power. In Fayette County, less than 700 customers were without power at that time.
Elsewhere, the snowstorm that is crawling slowly across the Midwest has led to a 25-vehicle pileup in Iowa that killed one person. Police say drivers were blinded by blowing snow and didn't see vehicles that had slowed or stopped on Interstate 80.
Drivers throughout the Plains and Midwest are hampered by heavy snow and strong winds that combined for blizzard conditions in areas from Kansas to Wisconsin.
The windy conditions have contributed to tens of thousands of power outages.
Forecasters say the snow cover will drag temperatures much lower in Nebraska and Iowa, with readings in the single digits.
About 1,000 flights have been canceled as a winter storm bears down on the Midwest. The bulk of the flights are at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway international airports.
American Airlines canceled all of its O'Hare flights scheduled after 8 p.m. Thursday, saying it expected winds to make it "very difficult, if not impossible, to operate" out of the airport.
Southwest Airlines canceled all its Midway flights after 4:30 p.m.
Airlines are waiving fees for some travelers who want to change their plans.