Gusty storm to bring first significant snowfall to northern Plains late this week

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By AccuWeather Meteorologist Faith Eherts

A strengthening storm will bring the first significant snowfall of the season to the northern Plains later this week.

This storm will first impact the Pacific Northwest with rain and snow beginning on Tuesday night. As the system strengthens and continues eastward, precipitation is predicted to transition completely to snow.

The center of the storm is forecast to clear the Rockies by Thursday, bringing snow to the interior West and allowing surface winds to strengthen significantly over the northern Plains.

Gusts in some areas of the Plains and the Upper Midwest are expected to exceed 60 mph on Thursday and Friday.

"The combination of snow and strong winds could lead to blizzard conditions across much of the Dakotas and into northern Nebraska," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.

The combination of wind and blowing snow may result in poor visibility. However, even in areas where no snow falls, the gusty winds could cause difficulties for high-profile vehicles.

While wind may pose the greatest threat, this storm will also bring the first significant snowfall of the season to many parts of the northern Plains.

"How strong this storm becomes will determine where, when and how much snow will fall," Rathbun said.

Areas as far south as Denver may have the first flakes of the season late on Thursday.

Snow will likely accumulate across the Dakotas and into Nebraska beginning on Thursday night and lasting through Friday.

The heaviest band of snow is expected to stretch from the Black Hills in South Dakota towards Winnipeg, Canada.

Behind the storm, temperatures are set to plummet as wintry air filters in from the north. The weather will be particularly crisp as gusty winds continue, making the air feel much colder than its actual temperature.

"AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will only be in the single digits and teens across the Dakotas on Friday," Rathbun said.

RELATED: See photos of an extremely rare snowstorm in Jerusalem:

28 PHOTOS
Rare, heavy snowfall in Jerusalem in 1921
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Rare, heavy snowfall in Jerusalem in 1921
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
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(Photo via Library of Congress)
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(Photo via Library of Congress)
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(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
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