Winter storm to bring swath of snow to the Great Plains and Midwest

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A winter storm may bring a swath of heavy snow and damaging winds to parts of the Great Plains and Midwest.

The storm dumped up to 78 inches of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in northern California on Wednesday. The weather system moved through the Rocky Mountains Thursday, producing heavy snow in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, according to ABC News meteorologists tracking the storm.

Winter weather alerts stretch from California to Vermont. Blizzard warnings were in effect for the Rocky Mountains Thursday, while blizzard watches were issued for the Upper Midwest region Friday.

The powerful storm is expected to sweep into the Upper Midwest region by Friday morning, bringing blizzard conditions and heavy snow from Nebraska to Wisconsin.

“As of right now, looks like the heaviest snow will be from Minneapolis and south,” said ABC News senior meteorologist Max Golembo.

By Friday night, the system is expected to hit warm and unstable air in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley region, which could produce severe storms with damaging winds, hail and even a few tornadoes.

Forecasters said the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions could see up to a foot of snow. But some spots like southern Minnesota could get as much as 18 inches of snow.

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