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Snow, rain cloud holiday travel plans

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Snow, rain cloud holiday travel plans
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It wouldn't be a holiday weekend in Minnesota without some snow to snarl New Year's travel plans.

Although details are still being worked out for this Thursday through Friday storm, the National Weather Service is predicting a good chance of freezing rain and snow.

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"The signals are definitely there for a major storm to affect the region," Meteorologist Tom Grafenauer said earlier this week.

Warmer temperatures in the 30-degree range will turn some rain into freezing rain as Thursday night progresses. Then on Friday, from 4 to 6 inches of snow is expected to cover the roads in the Detroit Lakes area.

"With the precipitation type so uncertain, it's tough to say what snowfall amounts are going to be," Grafenauer said, however, he added, "the potential is there for significant snowfall accumulation."

The weather service is also watching for breezy wind speeds, which will reduce visibility on the roads.

"Not sure exactly how strong, but at least breezy and maybe even stronger," Grafenauer said.

The storm may come into two pieces -- the freezing rain on Thursday then snowfall on Friday or continue as one.

"It does look like the main events would be Thursday and then Friday and wind continuing until Saturday," Grafenauer said.

This New Year's Eve storm is a large system affecting a large area of the northern plains and a lot of the Midwest.

According to Star Tribune's Meteorologist Paul Douglas, Thursday night into New Year's Eve will bring a couple of inches of slush by the afternoon Friday in the west Twin Cities metro area.

The storm will not bring a foot of snow, but it may be enough to slow down travel, he said.

As you say goodbye to 2010 and welcome 2011, you'll notice a bitterly cold start to the new year as temperatures dip to the single digits this weekend.

The National Weather Service reports temperatures will drop to 5 below in Detroit Lakes Friday night, then a high of near 4 Saturday and 9 below Saturday night.

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