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Major Winter Storm expected Christmas Eve through Christmas

A winter storm is on track to bring significant snow accumulations to much of the Northland beginning as early as Wednesday night, lasting through the Christmas holiday. The National Weather Service office in Duluth has issued a blizzard warning in effect from 6 a.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Saturday for areas around Duluth up the North Shore and south into Carlton County as well.

The following predictions were made Wednesday afternoon on the National Weather Service Web site (www.crh.noaa.gov) under its "blizzard warning" heading:

* LIGHT SNOW WILL BEGIN OVERNIGHT TONIGHT ACROSS THE TWO

HARBORS... DULUTH... SUPERIOR AND CLOQUET AREAS. SNOW WILL

BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES TOMORROW AND ESPECIALLY TOMORROW NIGHT

INTO CHRISTMAS DAY.

* STORM TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 14 TO 18 INCHES APPEAR

LIKELY... WITH SOME LOCAL AMOUNTS GREATER THAN 20 INCHES

POSSIBLE...ESPECIALLY FROM DULUTH NORTHEASTWARD ALONG THE HIGHER

TERRAIN OF THE NORTH SHORE OF LAKE SUPERIOR.

* EAST TO NORTHEAST WINDS WILL CONTINUE TO SLOWLY INCREASE FROM 15

TO 30 MPH TONIGHT... TO 20 TO 40 MPH BY TOMORROW EVENING INTO

CHRISTMAS MORNING. SOME LOCALLY HIGHER GUSTS ARE LIKELY IN AREAS

ADJACENT TO LAKE SUPERIOR. THE COMBINATION OF WINDS AND HEAVY

FALLING SNOW WILL RESULT IN WIDESPREAD BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW

AND WHITE OUT CONDITIONS AT TIMES.

* ROAD CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE RAPIDLY DURING THE DAY TOMORROW

WITH ANY TRAVEL BECOMING DANGEROUS BY LATE TOMORROW AFTERNOON

AND LASTING THROUGH MUCH OF CHRISTMAS.

* THE MOST SEVERE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED FROM LATE TOMORROW

AFTERNOON... THROUGH CHRISTMAS EVE AND MUCH OF THE DAY ON

CHRISTMAS WHEN THE COMBINATION OF 1 TO 2 INCH PER HOUR SNOWFALL

ACCUMULATION RATES AND VERY STRONG WINDS WILL CREATE WHITEOUT

CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE AND LIFE-THREATENING WINTER

WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED. ANY TRAVEL IS STRONGLY

DISCOURAGED. IF YOU CHOOSE TO TRAVEL...YOU MAY BE RISKING YOUR

LIFE. BE AWARE THAT YOU MAY BECOME STRANDED AND THAT IT COULD TAKE

MANY HOURS FOR HELP TO ARRIVE. KEEP A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT IN YOUR

VEHICLE...INCLUDING A FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER. LET SOMEONE

KNOW YOUR TRAVEL ROUTE AND EXPECTED ARRIVAL TIME AND HAVE A

WORKING CELL PHONE IN CASE YOU BECOME STRANDED. IF YOU BECOME

STRANDED...STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE AND USE IT AS A SHELTER. MANY

DEATHS OCCUR IN BLIZZARDS WHEN PEOPLE LEAVE THEIR VEHICLES TRYING

TO SEEK HELP.

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