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Big winter storm headed to Detroit Lakes

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GRAND FORKS - Consider today the calm before the storm. The really big storm.

The National Weather Service office in Grand Forks has issued a blizzard watch that is expect to bring eight to 12 inches of snow and winds up to gusts of 50 mph for much of the area starting late Monday night.

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Cities in Minnesota included in the blizzard watch area range from Detroit Lakes to Bagley and Roseau. The Red River Valley is also under the blizzard watch from the Canadian border to Breckenridge. Other areas in North Dakota affected include Maddock, New Rockford, Devils Lake and Langdon to the west.

Some parts of northwestern Minnesota could receive closer to 16 to 20 inches of new snow during this powerful winter storm, the weather service said.

The storm has the potential to rival mid-December's blizzard, the weather service says. In other words, travel could come to a standstill.

Snow is expected to start falling in parts of hte region late tonight as warmer air is drawn up ahread of the developing storm, the weather service says. Snow will continue to develop through Monday and spread across the region, then persist through Tuesday night, forecasters say. An increase in north winds is expected to arrive as a second round of snow is anticipated.

The weather service says wind chills are expected to become dangerous by Tuesday night, around 30 below to 35 below.

According to a weather service Web statement, "The exact track of the surface low pressure is still somewhat uncertain. A difference of only 50 miles in the track of the storm center would shift the position of the heaviest snow band."

A winter storm watch is in effect for the more forested north-central Minnesota region.

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