April 12 (UPI) -- A winter storm is expected to bring heavy spring snow and blizzard conditions to the U.S. Midwest, forecasters said Thursday.
The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for South Dakota and winter storm warnings for parts of Washington state to the Dakotas.
Winter storm watches were issued for the Upper Midwest, including the Minneapolis metro area and parts of northern Michigan.
Meteorologists said a jet stream energy that entered West Coast late Wednesday spread east, helping to spawn an area of low pressure along the Front Range of the Rockies. The low-pressure area will intensify as it moves across the Plains and the Midwest.
Forecasters said blizzard conditions may arrive late Thursday from Wyoming to South Dakota. Some wind gusts could exceed 60 mph, with the strongest hitting Wyoming and eastern Montana.
Through the weekend, sleet, freezing rain or snow is forecast to spread into parts of central and upstate New York and northern New England.
The Cascades, Washington's Olympic Mountains, the higher peaks of the northern Rockies and parts of South Dakota and Nebraska might see more than a foot of snow, forecasters said.
At least 6 inches is expected across west and central Minnesota and into northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan.
The storm follows several others that have blitzed the United States this spring. Last month, several people died when multiple nor'easters dumped heavy snow on New England and other Northeast states.
Thursday, President Donald Trump declared a "major disaster" exists in Kentucky due to recent storms and authorized federal assistance for areas affected by flooding, landslides and mudslides between Feb. 9-14.