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Folks in the Black Hills and western South Dakota may be bracing for unseasonably cool weather with the chance fo a few inches of snow, but whatever comes this way, it likely won't compare with conditions in the Nebraska panhandle, eastern Wyoming and Colorado's front range.

Forecasters are predicting two days of heavy snow and near-blizzard conditions for Cheyenne and the northern Colorado Front Range.

The National Weather Service expects the storm to move into the region as rain Tuesday night. The rain is expected to change to snow, with 10 and 20 inches possible on the Cheyenne area through Thursday.

Winds up to 30 mph are expected to cause significant drifting and near-blizzard conditions on the plains.

In Colorado, 8 to 14 inches is forecast for the Front Range and the Denver area. Up to 2 feet is possible in the northern Colorado Front Range foothills and the Laramie Range in southeast Wyoming.

Cheyenne already has had a snowy October, with 14 inches. The average for the month is 3 inches.

"It's been a rare October," said Tim Trudel, a National Weather Service forecaster in Cheyenne.

A storm Oct. 9-10 brought 8 inches to Cheyenne, closing Interstates 80 and 25. The Wyoming Department of Transportation is urging its plow drivers to rest up ahead of this storm, agency spokesman Bruce Burrows said.

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"The skier in me is saying, "Yeah, bring it on,"' Burrows said. "But it is challenging for our folks."

Whether highways remain open depends a lot on the wind. In Wyoming, large storms often kick up strong winds that cause constant drifting over roads.

"A lot of snow we can deal with pretty well. If the wind comes up, it makes it very difficult to keep up, even with our best technology and our best efforts," Burrows said.

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