A potentially major winter storm will hit the midwest this weekend and into early next week, bringing the threat of whiteout conditions and more than a foot of snow over portions of the Plains, AccuWeather meteorologists said Thursday, Dec. 26. The Red River Valley is expected to get more than 6 inches and could see more than a foot, the National Weather Service reported.

A wintry mix of ice, sleet and snow will develop over parts of Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska Friday afternoon. As colder air filters south from Canada, snow will begin to spread across the Plains Friday night. The storm system will intensify as it expands northward into the Midwest by Saturday. Steady snowfalls and gusty winds will be felt from North Platte, Nebraska to Aberdeen, South Dakota, creating the potential for blizzard conditions. The eastern Dakotas and extreme western Minnesota are likely to also be impacted.

The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a storm which contains large amounts of snow or blowing snow, with winds of excess of 35 miles per hour and visibilities of less than a quarter of a mile for at least three hours.

The storm system will continue to bring heavy snow and gusty winds leading to whiteout conditions across the Plains and northern Midwest on Sunday. Fargo and surrounding areas should expect the conditions to remain for much of the day, meteorologists said.

The Twin Towns and Fargo are expected to see more than six inches of snowfall through the weekend. Freezing rain is possible near the North Dakota-South Dakota border and northern Minnesota on Saturday, the National Weather Service reported. Winds will increase late Saturday night and Sunday, with blowing and drifting snow expected.

Travel is expected to be impacted. Be sure to check updated weather and road reports before traveling, and have a winter survival kit in your vehicle. North Dakota road reports can be found at https://www.dot.nd.gov/travel-info-v2/. Minnesota road reports can be found at https://hb.511mn.org/.

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