The storm system also could generate thunderstorms and tornadoes in parts of the South this weekend.
The National Weather Service says up to a foot of snow could start falling on northwest Kansas on Friday night, while Kansas City, Missouri, Indianapolis and Omaha, Nebraska could get up to 8 inches. Snow is expected to start in those cities late Saturday afternoon and continue through midday Sunday.
The system is expected to carry snow into the Northeast early next week.
In the South, forecasters say the system could spark tornadoes in Louisiana and Mississippi on Saturday.
The Department of Conservation says a conservation area in Lincoln County north of St. Louis recorded 7,000 snow geese, with an estimated 15,000 birds in the surrounding area.
Snow geese spend the winter in Missouri and other southern areas of their range. They return north to the Arctic to nest.
The birds are common in marshes, rivers, lakes and crop fields. They move constantly to seek a place to feed.
Lambert spokesman Jeff Lea tells KTRS news 16 arrivals have been cancelled as of 10:00 a.m.and 19 departures cancelled, the majority from Chicago.
If you're heading north or east or have a connecting flight through Chicago, airlines are canceling nearly 1,000 flights at Chicago's two airports because of a winter storm that's expected to dump up to 10 inches of snow on northern Illinois.
Most the canceled flights are at O'Hare International Airport.
A snowstorm that moved through parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota yesterday is zeroing in on Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, with the brunt of the storm expected to hit early today.
Up to 10 inches of snow could fall in the Chicago area, which would easily make this storm the area's largest of the season.
This storm could be particularly problematic for commuters. The National Weather Service says it could snow during both the morning and evening rush hours in Chicago. Emergency officials urge those who don't have to drive to keep their cars in the garage in favor of public transportation.
St. Louis County and St. Louis City street crews pre-treated the roads Thursday evening in an effort to prevent any morning rush hour surprises. But both MoDOT and IDOT officials decided to wait and monitor. Both transportation departments say they'll adjust as conditions warrant.
At midnight, road temperature sensors were showing the interstates all above freezing. But drivers are being cautioned to use extra care on elevated roadways, ramps and bridges.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - About 30,000 people in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas woke up without power as heavy, wet snow hitting the region downed power lines.
Kansas City Power & Light reported at 6 a.m. Tuesday that just over 25,000 customers were without power. The outages stretched throughout the utility's service area from Emporia, Kan., to Sedalia, Mo., but the highest number of outages was in the Kansas City metro area.
BPU, which provides service in Wyandotte County on the Kansas side of the metro area was reporting about 7,600 customers without service. Westar Energy reported 8,900 outages throughout its Kansas region, which includes pockets near Kansas City. Westar's highest number of outages early Tuesday was in Greenwood and Douglas counties, which includes the Wichita area.
Fox 2 meteorologists Glenn Zimmerman and Angela Hutti have the following report on the storm:
The track of the storm changed overnight and there may be more snow than ice expected in the St. Louis area but there is still a chance of sleet and freezing rain. Two to three inches of accumulations will be the rule in metro St Louis, but if we experience more thunder-like weather, we could see more.
We will keep you up to date on storm's progress and road conditions through the day.
The snow is expected to start this morning, with the heaviest amounts falling at night and into Saturday. Wind gusts could reach 75 mph. Widespread power failures were feared, along with flooding in coastal areas still recovering from Superstorm Sandy in October.
Boston could get more than 2 feet of snow, while New York City was expecting 10 to 14 inches. To the south, Philadelphia was looking at a possible 4 to 6 inches.
Amtrak says its Northeast trains will stop running this afternoon.
In New England, it could prove to be among the top 10 snowstorms in history.