CNN
Now playing
00:52
Just what exactly is a 'bomb cyclone'?
Sunisa Lee, of the United States, waits for the final results of the artistic gymnastics women's all-around final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/AP
Sunisa Lee, of the United States, waits for the final results of the artistic gymnastics women's all-around final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Now playing
01:11
Suni Lee reveals the advice Biles gave her before winning gold
CNN
Now playing
02:20
A wildfire is closing in on their home. Hear why they are refusing to leave
Now playing
04:48
See GOP lawmaker's reaction when he's confronted over insurrection remarks
Now playing
03:11
Doctor: 'We've all lost patients here in the last few weeks'
Fox News/CNN
Now playing
01:33
Fox News host mocked officer with fake trophy. See his response
CNN
Now playing
03:35
See why this restaurant owner has been targeted by Marjorie Taylor Greene
CNN
Now playing
03:10
'Sounds like a train': Firefighter describes battling Bootleg Fire
CNN
Now playing
02:29
Flight attendants receive defense training as incidents with violent passengers rise
CNN
Now playing
05:13
Keilar rolls the tape on Biles' critics: Mental health is real
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 28: Ariarne Titmus of Team Australia reacts with her coach Dean Boxall of Team Australia after winning the gold medal in the Women's 200m Freestyle Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 28: Ariarne Titmus of Team Australia reacts with her coach Dean Boxall of Team Australia after winning the gold medal in the Women's 200m Freestyle Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:49
She just won a gold medal. Why she won't look at social media
gupta
CNN
gupta
Now playing
02:54
Why do vaccinated people need to mask? See Gupta's answer
An employee gathers shopping carts at Walmart, July 22, 2020 in Burbank, California.
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
An employee gathers shopping carts at Walmart, July 22, 2020 in Burbank, California.
Now playing
01:01
Walmart will cover college tuition for its workers
CNN
Now playing
05:08
Raisman shares concern for Biles, calls USA Gymnastics 'absolute disaster'
sen boxer
CNN
sen boxer
Now playing
02:55
Senator recounts being attacked in broad daylight
Jul 27, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Simone Biles (USA) wears her warm up gear after competing on the vault during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports
Danielle Parhizkaran/USA Today Sports
Jul 27, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Simone Biles (USA) wears her warm up gear after competing on the vault during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports
Now playing
01:47
'Worst nightmare': Simone Biles withdraws from team finals
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush arrives for a kick-off rally with his wife Amanda to announced he will run for Texas Attorney General, Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/AP
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush arrives for a kick-off rally with his wife Amanda to announced he will run for Texas Attorney General, Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Now playing
02:22
Donald Trump snubs George P. Bush with endorsement
CNN —  

While beautiful spring temperatures have settled into the Plains and Midwest, don’t get used to it. There’s a storm on the way that’s going to remind Midwesterners that winter isn’t over until it’s over.

The potential is there for a “bomb cyclone” to impact the Plains this week. That’s an area of low pressure that drops 24 millibars in 24 hours – aka a potent, rapidly intensifying storm system.

This would be the second time in less than a month a storm of this magnitude has developed in the Plains. It’s rare enough to have one form inland, much less, two.

Typically we see “bomb cyclones” form off the US East Coast in the form of nor’easters.

Right now the forecast models have the storm teetering on the edge of bomb cyclone criteria. Either way, this storm is forecast to unleash a variety of wild weather this week.

Get more forecast maps and compare models >>>

Blizzard conditions likely for many

This powerful storm is forecast to develop Tuesday in the Rockies, where it will rapidly intensify and bring blizzard conditions to the Plains on Wednesday.

Overnight temperatures in the Plains will drop nearly 40 degrees in just 12 hours, including in Denver – which is expecting a high of 80 degrees Tuesday and blizzard conditions by Wednesday night.

Winter storm warnings and watches stretch from the Rockies to the Great Lakes.

There are blizzard warnings for almost 4 million people from eastern Colorado to southwestern Minnesota.
Up to 2 feet of snow will be possible with wind gusts of 45-55 mph across South Dakota and Nebraska, along with white-out conditions.

A potentially historic winter storm

Thursday the storm will reach the Midwest, bringing with it the heavy snow and wind. A foot of snow is possible for places like Minneapolis, where forecasters are calling for “a potentially historic winter storm.”

Winds will gust up to 45mph.

While an April snowstorm seems like a punch in the gut, April snowstorms do happen. Just last year, the Twin Cities experienced their top April snowstorm with 15.8 inches of snow April 13-16, 2018.

Air travel will become drastically slow, and road travel will be treacherous. Expect to stay put once the snow gets going.

Severe storms could strike to the south of system

The snow is not the only hazard from the storm.

In the warmer air to the south, severe weather could break out Wednesday afternoon and evening in parts of Kansas and Nebraska.

Large hail, damaging winds and perhaps a tornado are likely with some of the storms. On Thursday the threat will shift farther east into Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky, with the main threat of damaging winds.

High wind and possible fire danger are another big concern

With all this talk of snow and cold, we might as well add fire to the mix.

Red flag warnings cover over 4 million people from southeastern Arizona, through much of New Mexico into eastern Colorado Tuesday, where the combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and very warm to hot temperatures will create critical fire weather conditions.

Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly and will be hard to control.

High wind watches and warnings extend from California into Texas and Oklahoma. Wind gusts of up to 60 to 70 mph are expected in the Mountains outside of Los Angeles, with gusts up to 60 mph in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Scattered power outages are likely over much of the Southwest.

The fire risk is even worse Wednesday, with extreme fire danger – the highest category – from New Mexico into West Texas.

Flood threat to places drenched by last bomb cyclone

Flooding in the already hard-hit Plains will be exacerbated due to the additional precipitation.

The rain that moves in ahead of the snow in South Dakota and Nebraska could cause some immediate flood concerns, whereas the amount of fresh snow across the Plains and Midwest will be a more long-term threat.

In South Dakota and Western Minnesota, rivers will continue to experience moderate to major flooding as this additional snow will slow the rate at which waters recede.

The Red River is experiencing significant flooding because of melting snow with this new storm likely prolonging the high water.

Extreme weather

Even if this storm doesn’t become a bomb cyclone, it’s still going to be extremely powerful. And after temperatures hit the mid-60s to mid-70s this past weekend, the drastic change will leave millions of Americans wishing spring weather would hurry up and stay.

CNN Meteorologist Dave Hennen and Allie Mazurek contributed to this report