Spring storm packing blizzard conditions for northern Plains, tornadoes possible Tuesday in southern Minnesota

A significant spring storm headed for the northern Plains is packing blizzard conditions with significant snow accumulation and drifting, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Chief Meteorologist Ken Barlow says the Twin Cities area will see some afternoon showers and possibly a thunderstorm by Tuesday evening, with some more showers Wednesday before seeing a mix of snow and rain Thursday.

NWS meteorologists posted a blizzard warning for a large section of western North Dakota and smaller areas of western South Dakota and eastern Montana beginning Tuesday through Thursday evening.

The weather service predicts travel may become difficult to impossible in some places.

A winter storm watch was issued for eastern North Dakota, northern South Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

Forecasters were expecting a foot to 2 feet of snow in some of the affected areas with lesser amounts elsewhere.

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Sunday morning, the NWS Twin Cities said wind gusts of at least 40-50 mph were expected Wednesday night into Thursday night for much of central and southern Minnesota. The agency then increased wind gust speeds Monday morning, saying they could reach anywhere from 45-55 mph for the region, with wind gusts of up to 40 mph possible Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Monday morning, the NWS Twin Cities said the wrap-around band of snow for Thursday moved north, after initially saying Central Minnesota had the best chance of seeing impactful snowfall. The agency says a couple of inches could fall, with wind gusts reaching more than 35 mph in the central part of the state.

The system could also bring severe weather in the form of thunderstorms and tornadoes Tuesday evening.

The NWS says the temperature outlook for the next 14 days will be below average.

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS meteorologists Ken Barlow, Matt Serwe, Jonathan Yuhas and Tracey Anthony for the latest updates.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.