A snowstorm will wallop central USA this week, plunging temps as much as 60 degrees in one day

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY

Forget fall. Portions of the central USA will feel downright winterlike over the next few days as a potent snowstorm and bitter cold take aim on the region.

The powerful system is expected to produce heavy snow, as much as 12 inches, from the north-central Rockies into the northern Plains, the National Weather Service said. Winter storm warnings and watches are already widespread across the region, all the way from Idaho to Minnesota. 

Significant travel impacts, tree damage and sporadic power outages will be possible where the heaviest snow occurs, the weather service in Grand Forks, North Dakota, warned.

Both Denver and Minneapolis could see their first snow of the season.

Read this: Raking leaves again this fall? Stop right now

Temperatures will also plunge by as much as 60 degrees in the span of 12 to 24 hours as the cold air swiftly replaces preceding mild conditions, AccuWeather said.

"Within 48 hours, Denver may go from 80 degrees and sunshine on Tuesday to 20 degrees and snow Wednesday night," AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

The snowstorm will come in two parts: According to AccuWeather, after the first part of the storm clobbers the northern and central Rockies and High Plains into Thursday, the second part of the storm will ramp up over the eastern portions of the Dakotas to western Minnesota late this week.

"There's a chance blizzard conditions unfold in part of this area as temperatures plummet, winds increase and rain changes to heavy snow to end the week," Sosnowski said.

Travel could be extremely hazardous, the weather service warned. 

Teeth-chattering cold will also spread across the northern tier of the U.S., all the way from the Northwest to the Midwest. By late in the week, high temperatures may be stuck in the 40s over the northern Great Basin, 30s over a large part of the northern Plains and 20s over parts of the Rockies and northern High Plains, the Weather Channel said. 

A number of daily record lows will be in jeopardy in such cities as Denver; Portland, Oregon; and Salt Lake City. 

Meanwhile in California: Power may be shut off for more than 700,000 customers to prevent wildfires

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Winter storm, snow take aim at North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado