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Another taste of winter to sweep across Rockies, central US

Just as communities across the central United States, from Denver and Dallas to Minneapolis start to feel like spring, another dose of winter is expected to sweep through the region.

Warmth that began across much of the Rockies and Plains on Sunday continued on Monday. By 5 p.m. MDT on Monday, temperatures in Denver rocketed to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the warmest day in the city since Nov. 6, 2021.

However, as the week progresses, the warm surge will shift to the south and east as a potent storm is forecast to bring weather whiplash for many across the center of the country.

The same storm that is bringing rain to parched portions of California is expected to push through the Rockies and into the Plains Tuesday.

"This storm will spread a late taste of winter from the Rockies through the Upper Midwest," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Randy Adkins.

Chilly air will sweep in as the jet stream dives southward across the western U.S. allowing for the higher elevations of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah to have snow flakes on Tuesday.

"Snow levels may drop as low as 5,000 feet across parts of Wyoming on Tuesday night, but will be much higher in Colorado, more like 8,000 feet," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Alex DaSilva.

At the same time, this storm will be streaking into the central Plains and spreading both rain and snow across Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Minnesota by the end of the day.

Snow is expected to start accumulating across parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Canada on Tuesday, but is likely to reach the Dakotas as cold air pours into the northern Plains Tuesday night. The snow is forecast to continue spreading eastward as the storm strengthens over the Midwest and Great Lakes through Thursday.

The heaviest snow is expected across northern Minnesota and into Ontario, Canada, where 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) of snow can accumulate and an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 25 inches (64 cm) is possible.

"With this storm, accumulating snow is once again expected for Minneapolis by Wednesday night," Adkins said.

Adkins also noted that snow across this portion of the country isn't unheard of in early spring. In fact, the Twin Cities average just over 2 inches of snow during the month of April.

Not all of the wintry precipitation will come in the form of snow. The clash of warm and cold air is expected to create the opportunity for ice across portions of the Great Lakes as well.

The greatest risk for ice is expected across northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where there may be some slick travel and isolated power outages late Tuesday through Wednesday. A brief period of freezing rain, sleet or wintry mix is likely to extend as far to the south and east as the central Appalachians.

Gusty winds are also forecast to accompany the storm, bringing a brisk, northerly wind into the portions of the Upper Midwest, especially late Wednesday through Thursday. The burst of stronger winds could lead to blowing snow and a more wintry feel for those out and about in the storm.

While snow will be sweeping from the Rockies into the Upper Midwest, severe weather is also expected to spread across the southern U.S., threatening more damaging thunderstorms from Oklahoma and Texas to Tennessee and Alabama.


Behind these threats, a widespread change in temperature is also expected.

On Wednesday, noticeably cooler conditions are expected to span from South Dakota all the way into western Texas.

A high of upper 70s F in Amarillo and Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday will be replaced with a high in the middle 50s F on Wednesday. Normal high temperatures for these cities for the end of March are in the upper and lower 60s, respectively.

For the latest weather news check back on AccuWeather.com. Watch the AccuWeather Network on DIRECTV, Frontier, Spectrum, fuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios. AccuWeather Now is now available on your preferred streaming platform.