A powerful spring storm is expected to slam the Pikes Peak region starting late Monday, bringing frigid temperatures, snow and 45 mph winds.

Temperatures will be cooling down Monday afternoon as the storm rolls in, with rain showers coming into the region in the evening, forecasters with the national Weather Service predict. Later, temperatures will plunge as cold winds blow in, driving as much as 5 inches of snow to parts of the region.

The most likely candidates for snow are northern El Paso and Teller counties. With strong gusts, any snow could bring traffic tangles for the Tuesday morning commute, especially north of Colorado Springs and in eastern El Paso County, forecaster Pamela Evenson said Sunday night.

“If it’s snow and blowing like that there will be some visibility problems,” she said.

Downtown Colorado Springs could see 3 inches of snow, and southern El Paso County residents may just get a few flurries, Evenson said.

After idyllic weekend weather put some fruit trees in bloom, Tuesday’s temperatures will come as a shock to plants and people.

The high in Colorado Springs Tuesday is expected to be a bone-chilling 24 degrees. Tuesday’s low temperature is expected to be in the teens.

The storm is expected to pass by Tuesday evening, leaving Wednesday dry and cold, with highs in the 30s.

High temperatures are expected to hit the 50s in Colorado Springs Thursday with scattered evening showers.

Any moisture is good for the parched Pikes Peak region, but Tuesday’s storm won’t put a dent in the drought, Evenson said.

Since March 1, the region has seen just over four inches on snow, well below the 9.7 inch average, according to Weather Service records.

And with two years of dry conditions to overcome, it will take more than average snowfall amounts to reverse the trend.

As for those blooming plants: Covering them with plastic bags may help. But, forecasters say it’s too early to start sprucing up your garden.

Plants face frost danger through early May in Colorado Springs.