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Big winter storm is coming: Brainerd could see over a foot of snow

A major winter storm is making its way to the Brainerd lakes area, and it should drop enough snow to put smiles on the faces of all the outdoor enthusiasts who have been wishing for snow.

The National Weather Service in Duluth report shows Brainerd could see as little at 8 inches of snow to a high of 15 inches of snow. Submitted Report
The National Weather Service in Duluth report shows Brainerd could see as little at 8 inches of snow to a high of 15 inches of snow. Submitted Report

A major winter storm is making its way to the Brainerd lakes area, and it should drop enough snow to put smiles on the faces of all the outdoor enthusiasts who have been wishing for snow.

Brainerd could see as much as 14 inches of snow. If the area does in fact get that much snow, the Brainerd High School Nordic cross-country ski team and junior high team will be pleased as the team is scheduled to host its only home meet of the year Saturday, Dec. 29, at the Northland Arboretum.

Snow is expected to begin later Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 26, and should continue through Thursday night, the National Weather Service in Duluth reports. The NWS issued a winter storm watch affecting northeast Minnesota, including Cass, Crow Wing and Aitkin counties, with total snow accumulations of 8-12 inches possible.

Kevin Huyck, NWS meteorologist, said staffers have been tracking this winter storm for a week. It is coming off the Asian coast, going across the Pacific coast and making its way to the Great Lakes region. It is expected to bring in heavy snow and strong winds.

"Brainerd is in a really good area if you like snowfall," Huyck said as the lakes area is in the area expecting the greatest chance of snowfall in Minnesota. "We're thinking accumulations of 10 to as high as 14 inches of snow. Then we expect some breezy conditions, especially as the system winds down, which may reduce visibilities with blowing and drifting snow."

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Huyck said with this type of snowstorm coming through the state, meteorologists look for thunderstorm development along the cold front. He said if thunderstorms develop as the storm is making its way across the country, there is a chance it could interfere with the moisture in the air as it gets closer to Minnesota, which could impact the snow totals.

The snow is expected to be lighter, fluffier when it hits Brainerd.

"Get your shovels shined up and ready to go," Huyck said with this storm. "The start time could fluctuate a bit. We're thinking folks in Brainerd will start seeing flakes late Wednesday afternoon. It's possible it could go later depending on if we get drier air from the north.

"The biggest shock for people will be when they get up Thursday morning and there may be 2-4 inches on the ground. It will make the morning's commute slow and difficult."

Temperatures begin with a high near 26 Wednesday and should fall to a high near 19 Friday. Then the blustery temperatures, dipping below zero, are expected to begin Friday night, with a low of 6 below.

The forecast for Brainerd

โ€ข Thursday: High near 33, with a east wind about 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent during the day and into the night. The low Thursday night is expected to be 17 degrees.

โ€ข Friday: A chance of snow before noon, with a high near 19. Temperatures at night expected to fall to 6 below.

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โ€ข Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high near 7 degrees and a low around 6 below.

โ€ข Sunday: Partly sunny with a high near 21, with a slight chance of snow showers at night. The low Sunday night should be about 14 degrees.

Winter driving safety tips

โ€ข Clear snow and ice from windows and lights.

โ€ข Brake early. Leave twice the amount of room for stopping.

โ€ข Don't use cruise control in wintery conditions.

โ€ข Don't cut in front of other vehicles.

โ€ข Take it slow. Delay travel if feasible.

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