As large blizzard sweeps the through the central U.S., residents should be prepared to follow emergency instructions from local authorities, a federal official said.

Residents should take this storm seriously and stay informed, said Beth Freeman, a regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in a statement.

Federal officials have been in contact with multiple levels of government, private sector and voluntary agencies to ensure proper measures are in place to protect life and property, she said.

Bitter cold, up to two feet of snow and high winds will hit at least nine states with Chicago and Detroit on the storm's path.

The storm, which is expected to develop over Texas, will intensify rapidly as it moves northeast into the Ohio Valley Tuesday night and Wednesday, eventually reforming off the mid-Atlantic or New England coast late Wednesday, the service said.

By Thursday and Friday, conditions are mostly expected to be clear and sunny with partial cloudiness in some areas by Friday evening.