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Massive Winter Storm Roaring Across U.S.

This visible image was captured by the GOES-13 satellite and shows the low pressure area bringing snowfall to the Midwest on Jan. 31, 2011. (Image credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project.)

A massive snowstorm is roaring across the United States. The winter blast is expected to stretch from the Colorado Rockies to New England, affecting up to 100 million people.

Snow has already begun to fall across the Midwest as of Jan. 31, with heavy snow expected in portions of northern Iowa, southern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Heavy snow will be accompanied by high winds making for life-threatening conditions if not properly prepared, according to the Weather Channel. Along with heavy snow, the storm is expected to bring ice, tornadoes and severe cold at times across the country. The storm is expected to peak on Feb. 1 and end by Feb. 2. [Related: What is a Blizzard?]

A NASA satellite captured an image of the system as it extended from Michigan west to Montana, Idaho, Utah and Arizona. A mix of rain and snow also stretches into the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, as it heads for the New England coast. This system appears to be as large as one-third of the continental United States. [Related: World's Snow Cover Seen from Space .]

Much of the South should avoid the wintry mix, but the region is on alert for severe thunderstorms, damaging winds, hail and even tornadoes.

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