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Mother Nature's Christmas present: Snow, then a warm-up

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What kind of Christmas present do you get for a state that loves its winter? Cold and snow.

The Pioneer Press reports travel was pretty but hazardous Christmas Eve, with a winter advisory in effect until midnight Tuesday across the region. A total of 2 to 4 inches of snow is expected.

Snow is likely to linger Christmas Day while the temperature climbs out of the deep freeze.

Highs near freezing are forecast for the Twin Cities through Saturday afternoon, when an Arctic blast returns.

Minnesota awoke Tuesday morning to below-zero temperatures, including minus-29 degrees in Ely and Hibbing, minus-26 in Brainerd, minus-21 in Bemidji, minus-6 in Marshall and minus-11 in the Twin Cities, Rochester and Albert Lea, KARE 11 reported.

Factor in the wind chill and it felt like minus-23 degrees in the Twin Cities early Tuesday morning.

Most of the state will get a dusting of Christmas Eve snow in the afternoon and evening, 2 to 4 inches in western Minnesota and 1 to 2 in the east, the Associated Press reports. Duluth can expect another 2 to 4 inches; it snowed there on 19 of the first 23 days of December, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Four inches is expected through west-central Minnesota, MPR News reports.

The Twin Cities can expect 2.2 inches of snow, KARE reports. Snow will start to fall in the metro at about 2 or 3 p.m. Tuesday, KARE 11 reports.

A wind chill advisory is in effect for much of the Minnesota River Valley. A winter weather advisory is in effect for central and southern Minnesota until midnight, the National Weather Service says.

Here's a quick look around the state, with forecasts from the National Weather Service:

Duluth – Dec. 24: 80 percent chance of snow, but little accumulation. High: 10, low 4. Dec. 25: 40 percent chance of snow, high 16, low minus-5.

Thief River Falls – Dec. 24: 80 percent chance of snow, 1-2 inches, high 9, low 3. Dec. 25: 30 percent chance of snow, less than half-inch, high 8, low minus-18.

Worthington – Dec. 24: 90 percent chance of snow, about 1-2 inches, high 15, low 13. Dec. 25: 20 percent chance of snow, high 24, low 5.

Rochester – Dec. 24: 90 percent chance of snow, about 2-4 inches overnight, high 11, low 8. Dec. 25: 60 percent chance of snow, about half-inch, high 24, low 3.

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