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Fox News Weather Center

Wind-Driven Snow to Hit Northern Rockies, Central Plains

March will come in like a lion from a large part of Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa to parts of Idaho, Colorado, Utah and the Dakotas, due to a long-duration snow event.

Late this week and into this weekend, as another batch of Arctic air pushes southward, storms from California will roll northeastward and unleash wind-driven snow and dangerously low AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures.

The snow will begin Thursday night over the northern and central Rockies and will expand eastward Friday and Saturday across the High Plains, while continuing over some of the mountain ranges.

The long-duration snow event has the potential to drop a couple of feet of snow over the high country in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah. Enough snow can fall with gusty winds to hinder or halt travel through the passes along I-80 and I-90.

Farther east over the Plains, centering along the I-80 corridor, the snow is not likely to be heavy in most areas but will still be disruptive, factoring in wind, and dangerous, considering temperatures. At times, the adverse conditions can reach as far south as I-70 and as far north as I-90.

Even though the storm may fall short of blizzard conditions in most locations, at times the snow will be wind-driven and will produce poor visibility.

Temperatures will range from the single digits to below zero with much lower RealFeel levels at the height of the storm over the weekend in Billings, Mont.; Casper, Wyo.; Rapid City, S.D.; Omaha, Neb.; and Des Moines, Iowa.

Snow and a wintry mix will will extend farther south over northern Kansas and northern Missouri.

Some snow will affect Denver later in the weekend with less extreme temperatures, but the potential for travel delays will exist.

Most of the snow will slide south of Minneapolis, but very low temperatures and RealFeels will be a major factor in this weekend's weather.

People in or traveling through Chicago should anticipate significant delays and disruptions due to snow.

Close to the Mississippi River and areas farther east in the Midwest and Northeast, snowfall will again ramp up as the storm taps into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

While skiers and boarders will relish the snowstorm over the mountains in the West, the heavy amount of snow and fluctuating temperatures will raise concerns for avalanches into next week.