MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Forecasters posted a blizzard warning for parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota as a major winter storm delivered heavy snow and gusty winds to the region.

The powerful storm is making travel difficult Thursday with motorists on the move during this holiday week. The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for central South Dakota, eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. The storm was expected to drop more than a foot of snow in the region before ending Friday.

The Minnesota State Patrol tweeted that road conditions are poor across much of western Minnesota. The North Dakota Highway Patrol issued a travel alert for all state highways due to whiteout conditions.

Eastern North Dakota is expected to deal with winds gusting up to 50 mph, creating blizzard conditions mainly in the Red River Valley.