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'Life-threatening' storm eyeing Fargo-Moorhead

FARGO - A major winter storm moving into the Red River Valley this weekend will likely drop at least 7 to 8 inches and possibly a foot or more of snow on the Fargo area and will create dangerous driving conditions, the National Weather Service said.

"While the exact track and evolution of this storm is still somewhat uncertain, it appears likely that the region will experience a potentially life-threatening storm Saturday night through Sunday night," the weather service office in Grand Forks said in a special statement Thursday.

The powerful storm system will develop in the Central Plains on Saturday and track into the Northern Plains on Sunday, the weather service said. Snow is likely across all of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.

The snowfall in eastern North Dakota is expected to start late Saturday afternoon and last through about 6 a.m. Monday morning, said weather service meteorologist Pete Speicher.

Strong northerly winds may gust to more than 40 mph on Sunday.

"There's a good possibility, Sunday especially, of blizzard-like conditions," he said.

The Grand Forks area will likely see double-digit snowfall amounts, Speicher said.

Other isolated areas in the region may also get more than a foot of snow, but it's too early to say which areas will be hit harder, said Chauncy Schultz, a forecast planner for the weather service.

Roads may become drifted shut, and travel may become impossible late Saturday night through Sunday, the weather service said.

Temperatures will also fall well below zero by Sunday night, with dangerous wind chills from 25 to 45 below.

Partly cloudy skies are predicted Monday and Tuesday will be sunny, according to the weather service, but high temperatures on Monday will remain below zero, Schultz said.

Forum reporter Benny Polacca contributed to this report

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