CHICAGO -- It’ll be a white Christmas for the northern Plains and some Western states, but the festive weather is likely to cause troublesome travel.
A large swath of the Dakotas is under a blizzard warning Sunday and Monday, with the National Weather Service saying heavy snowfall and very strong winds over the northern Plains are expected to create blizzard conditions.
To the east, parts of central Minnesota are under an ice storm warning. Snow is also forecast for much of Idaho, Montana, Utah and northeast Colorado.
“Much of the U.S. will be impacted this holiday weekend by a robust winter storm system that will track across the Rockies and through the Plains states into the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region,” the National Weather Service said.
Forecasters cautioned drivers to keep alternate routes in mind and prepare for possible delays.
Air travel wasn’t yet impacted Saturday at the nation’s major airports. But snowy conditions Friday in Appleton, Wisconsin, caused the Minnesota Vikings’ team plane to slide off a runway.
The incident happened around 6:20 p.m. as the plane was taxiing after landing, CBS Minnesota reports, citing a passenger. No one was injured, but passengers sat on the plane for hours while crews tried to figure out how to de-board.
Videos posted on social media overnight showed firefighters escorting people off the aircraft.
At least one other airport was affected by weather. Flight delays were reported on Friday at Boise Airport, CBS affiliate KBOI reported.
The Storm Prediction Center cautioned that warm, humid air could cause severe weather in the lower Plains, Arkansas and Oklahoma on Sunday.