Blizzard will bring heavy snow and strong winds to Upper Midwest

Freezing rain will also be possible across the Upper Mississippi Valley

A blizzard is developing in the Upper Midwest that could dump heavy snow and bring strong winds for many hours through Friday, forecasters say.

Blizzard warnings are in effect with up to 8 inches of snow expected for a widespread area. However, isolated amounts of higher totals can’t be ruled out.

Freezing rain will also be possible across the Upper Mississippi Valley. Traveling will be dangerous at the height of the storm with whiteout conditions, and power outages will also be a big concern, forecasters warn.

A winter storm is forecast for the Upper Midwest.

A winter storm is forecast for the Upper Midwest. (Fox News)

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"A powerful storm with a wide swath of dangerously high winds will morph into a heavy snow storm in the Upper Midwest this week," tweeted the National Weather Service on Wednesday night. "Rain in the northern Rockies is producing flooding & increasing avalanche threats."

Wet snow is also expected in the Chicago area Thursday afternoon into the evening, with the snow tapering off into flurries on Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service Chicago.

This system will then move into the Northeast and the Appalachians this weekend. Measurable snow will fall across the interior sections and the mountains.

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Forecast for Jan. 14, 2021.

Forecast for Jan. 14, 2021.

A big warm-up is happening across the West with the potential of record highs in Southern California. Dry conditions, along with gusty winds, will enhance the fire danger across the Southwest and into the Plains today.