Forget spring: Blizzard forecast for north-central U.S.

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY
·2 min read
Pink blossom petals that emerged during the early spring are now covered in snow to remind us that we are still in winter Monday morning, March 16, 2020, in Nevada City, California.
Pink blossom petals that emerged during the early spring are now covered in snow to remind us that we are still in winter Monday morning, March 16, 2020, in Nevada City, California.

The calendar may say spring is almost here, but winter isn't quite done yet.

A blizzard is forecast for portions of the north-central U.S. this week, which will make travel "difficult if not impossible" in some areas.

Weather conditions on the last day of winter "will seem more like the middle of January for an approximate 1,200-mile-long swath of the central United States on Thursday," AccuWeather said.

Blizzard conditions will spread across portions of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota, due to strong winds and a heavy rate of snow.

"A general 3-6 inches of snow is forecast to fall over parts of the central Rockies, central and northern Plains and the upper Great Lakes region," AccuWeather meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said. "From 6-12 inches of snow is forecast in parts of Colorado, Wyoming and western Nebraska, as well as a portion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan."

Up to two feet of snow is possible in mountainous areas of Wyoming and Colorado, the National Weather Service predicted.

Major metro areas in the path of the snowstorm include Denver and Minneapolis. Moderate accumulations are expected in the Denver metro area, with higher amounts, as usual, in the western and southern foothills, the Weather Channel said.

Minneapolis could see a "plowable snowfall," the weather service said.

Finally, some good news: Spring starts Thursday – the earliest it's been in 124 years

The National Weather Service in Cheyenne, Wyoming, also warned that "snowdrift will be a hazard as well – looking at this as an issue for local farmers and ranchers as this is a potential hazard for livestock and newborn calves."

The snow will last into Thursday night in parts of the upper Midwest before ending Friday, according to the Weather Channel, which has named the storm Winter Storm Pearl.

While the north-central U.S. deals with the snow, severe weather – including the chance for tornadoes – will be the main weather story across the southern Plains Wednesday and the mid-South and Midwest on Thursday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Blizzard forecast for north-central U.S.