Washington: Blizzards and windstorms will punish the US Plains and Midwest on Wednesday and into Thursday as a powerful storm threatens more flooding in areas such as South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and farms along the Missouri River.

High spring temperatures will give way to heavy snow, gale-force winds and life-threatening conditions across a swathe of the central United States running from the Rockies to the Great Lakes, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Pueblo, Colorado, hit 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 Celsius) on Tuesday, but will drop down to 25F (minus 4C) by early Thursday.

Similar temperatures are forecast in Denver.

“This is potentially a life-threatening storm,” Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the NWS’s Weather Prediction Centre in Maryland, said early on Wednesday.

The storm is expected to bring blinding, heavy wet snow across the region, likely downing trees and causing widespread power outages, widespread road closures and making driving treacherous, Burke said.

“It’s slow moving. It won’t push farther east until Friday,” he said.

The storm has already sparked flood evacuations in Oregon and caused flooding in Washington state.