Your Christmas Day forecast: Freezing rain, ice storms and a blizzard - Bring Me The News

Your Christmas Day forecast: Freezing rain, ice storms and a blizzard

Roads may be dangerous, and there could be some power outages.
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A plethora of wintry weather is headed for Minnesota Christmas Day, which could make travel dangerous and nearly impossible in some areas of the state.

Every corner of the state is under some type of weather alert Sunday. For some it'll be an ice storm, while others could see several inches of snow and blizzard-like conditions.

Here's what to expect and where on Sunday.

Twin Cities and southern Minnesota

Freezing rain will start moving into southern Minnesota between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Sunday, with steadier freezing rain expected mid-to-late Sunday morning into the mid afternoon, according to the freezing rain advisory that's in effect for the southern half of the state from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

This freezing rain could cause ice to accumulate on untreated roads and sidewalks. The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities is forecasting about one-tenth of an inch of ice, noting some areas will be slippery, but other areas will be fine.

North of the Twin Cities – in the communities of Alexandria, Morris, Little Falls and northwest of St. Cloud – could see a little more ice accumulate, totaling one-fourth of an inch, the National Weather Service explains.

Temperatures are expected to warm above freezing Sunday, which should limit the chance of having a damaging ice storm in the region. By mid-afternoon, freezing rain will move out of the area and winds will start to pick up.

Strong wind gusts of 40-50 mph could cause some power outages if power lines get covered in ice, the weather alert says.

Brainerd, Duluth and northeastern MN

Weather conditions the Brainerd Lakes Area and the northland could get dangerous and travel could be difficult, the National Weather Service in Duluth says. Freezing drizzle and light snow will begin late Saturday night, with a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain all possible across the northland on Sunday.

There's still some disagreement in the forecast on what type of precipitation will fall where, but as of Saturday morning, here's what's most likely to happen:

Freezing rain and ice: The best chance for freezing rain and sleet is from the Brainerd Lakes Area and Walker east to Grand Rapids, Duluth and portions of the Arrowhead. Crow Wing and southern Cass counties could see up to a quarter-inch of ice accumulate due to the freezing rain, which has prompted the National Weather Service to issue an ice storm warning there from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. (Note: the colder it stays, the more ice there will be.)

Snow: Snow is possible across the northland Sunday, but the National Weather Service is forecasting the heaviest snow will fall from Koochiching County east to the Arrowhead, which could see up to 6 inches of snow by Monday afternoon.

Icing could create "treacherous and hazardous road conditions," the weather service says. Ice and the heavy snow could also lead to some power outages. Here's a look at the timing of the storm in the northland:

 Credit: National Weather Service, Duluth

Credit: National Weather Service, Duluth

Northwestern MN

Northwestern Minnesota is also expected to see a variety of wintry weather Sunday, which could make travel on Christmas Day and Monday dangerous, the National Weather Service in Grand Forks says.

Heavy snow will start moving into northwestern Minnesota Sunday afternoon, with more than a foot of snow possible by Monday, the weather service says. All that snow combined with strong winds could create blizzard conditions and make travel "nearly impossible" – there's a blizzard warning in effect for Kittson, Marshall and Polk counties from noon Sunday to noon Monday.

South of the heavy snow line travel conditions aren't expected to get much better. Freezing rain and sleet is expected in west-central Minnesota (the exact line between heavy snow and freezing rain is still uncertain), which could cause ice to accumulate on roads, power lines and trees, leading to dangerous driving and the potential for power outages.

Here's a look at the most likely ice accumulation totals for the region:

 Credit: National Weather Service, Grand Forks

Credit: National Weather Service, Grand Forks

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