POSTED: Friday, December 21, 2012 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Friday, December 21, 2012 - 9:00am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Powerful weather systems are crossing the country, dumping heavy snow up north and spawning dangerous storms down south.
There were near white out conditions in Madison, Wisconsin Thursday.
Afoot of snow is expected before the system moves out.
Plows and police were out in force before daybreak in Des Moines to help commuters navigate snow-covered roads and battle up to 50 mile per hour winds.
That also resulted in blizzard conditions in neighboring Nebraska, where government offices were closed for the day.
Hundreds of schools across the Midwest canceled classes Thursday because of heavy overnight snow.
The massive system is being pushed by high winds that stirred up a huge dust storm in Abilene, Texas, while also knocking over trees and tearing off rooftops through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
A tornado tore through mobile early Thursday morning.
No injuries were reported, but it was terrifying for those who went through it.
The storm system is already taking its toll on holiday travel as it pushes its way to the Northeast.