Days into spring, snowstorm bears down on U.S. Midwest

March 22 Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:00pm EDT

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March 22 (Reuters) - A major storm system is expected to dump heavy snow across parts of the Midwest on the first weekend of spring, while thunderstorms, large hail and even twisters could lash parts of the deep South, forecasters warned on Friday.

The storm system is seen rolling out of the Rockies by early on Saturday, and dropping snow over eastern Colorado and the central and southern Plains later in the day, according to the National Weather Service and AccuWeather.com.

"Like many storms during the second half of the winter, this first major storm of the spring could threaten lives and property, bring significant travel disruptions and foil outdoor plans," AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski cautioned.

The band of heavy snow is expected to track eastward over the weekend, most likely affecting some of the Ohio Valley states on Sunday, before heading out over the central and southern Appalachians into Monday.

"A small shift in the storm track could mean the difference between heavy snow in Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Dayton versus Omaha, Chicago and Cleveland," AccuWeather said.

AccuWeather.com and the National Weather Service also warned of the potential for severe weather to develop over the weekend from Texas to southern Georgia and northern Florida.

"Such a set-up can deliver thunderstorms with large hail, damaging wind and perhaps a few tornadoes," severe weather expert Henry Margusity said. (Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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