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Heavy snow to hit Plains, thunderstorms to drench South

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(CNN) — Weather conditions across America may give a good many of us an excuse to stay indoors until Friday.

A blanket of white could fall on most of the United States and some of Canada this week, while violent thunderstorms roll in off of the Gulf of Mexico, threatening to flood parts of the Deep South.

A winter storm plastering Kansas and Nebraska is expanding, the National Weather Service says. It is expected to fling heavy snow as far as the mountain states Wednesday before reaching east into the Midwest on Thursday.

The two states in the center of the snow storms should see a foot of snow or more in some places, but heavy accumulation will stretch as far north as Minneapolis.

Freezing rain could cover Oklahoma with ice on Wednesday, before moving into Arkansas and up through Ohio on Thursday.

Conditions likely to produce snow will cover most of the continental United States by late Thursday — with the exception of the Southeast.

Severe thunderstorms moving in from the Gulf of Mexico are expected to dump 2 to 6 inches of rain over New Orleans and Montgomery, according to CNN’s weather center, before rolling up toward Atlanta.

The torrential rains could lead to significant river flooding near the Gulf, as flood watches are still in effect from last week’s heavy rains.

Heavy winds, hail and tornadoes are possible, the National Weather Service says. Downpours are expected to continue into Friday.

The weather in the rest of the nation is expected to lose its fury by then.

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