Winter storm heading east, could snarl travel


The storm already left more than a foot of snow in the Sierras on Christmas Eve.

Strong winds are scheduled to arrive with the heaviest snow on Thursday.

Winter Storm watches may be issued for this event and this statement will be updated as new information becomes available.

There is high confidence in at least 8 inches of snow across Northeast Minnesota and the South Shore.

Temperatures are forecast to plunge as the storm progresses in the heavy snow area on north and west. More than 12 inches is expected for high terrain parts of the North Shore.

Sunshine will return on Saturday, but it will be a fair amount cooler.

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Rain and snow broke out across the central and southern Plains on Wednesday and ramped up Wednesday night in the Upper Midwest. It also could get several inches of snow Wednesday night, as well as up to 7 inches on Thursday, the weather service said.

The section of the storm that was prompting a blizzard warning covered the eastern half of each of the Dakotas as of Thursday morning, as well as parts of Kansas and Nebraska.

Grand Forks city and county offices, courthouse, Altru clinical operations, UND Main Campus and the social security office were closed Thursday morning due to weather conditions.

Travelers are warned to keep up to date with weather forecasts and to know what the weather will be like at their destination, Edwards says. A mix of rain and snow is still possible, with light snow Thursday night. Wind gusts were anticipated as high as 20 miles per hour overnight into Thursday in the Brainerd lakes area and higher to the west.

The rain will potentially reach as far north as St. Cloud and Hinckley before dancing around north of the metro through Thursday afternoon.