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Wisconsin will bear brunt of storm

Today might be a good day to stay out of Wisconsin. Or to stay put if you're already there. For possibly the first time ever, the entire Badger State is covered by a winter storm warning, with a foot or more of snow expected in many areas and pos...

Today might be a good day to stay out of Wisconsin. Or to stay put if you're already there.

For possibly the first time ever, the entire Badger State is covered by a winter storm warning, with a foot or more of snow expected in many areas and possibly 18 inches or more along Lake Superior's South Shore snowbelt.

"In my recollection, I've never seen that for the entire state,'' said Carol Christenson, warning coordinating meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Duluth. "It's a pretty potent storm.''

The Cornucopia area already had 6 inches of snow by 9 p.m. Tuesday. A blizzard warning was issued for central portions of the state, and the Wisconsin Department of Emergency Management was urging no travel anywhere.

Duluth, Superior, Cloquet and Two Harbors also are under a winter storm warning, but it looks like they might not get the 6 to 8 inches forecast earlier Tuesday.

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"We'll probably be at the lower end of that scale, if that even," said Kevin Kraujalis, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Duluth.

Much of the moisture from an approaching weather system passed south of the Twin Ports, Kraujalis said.

A cold air mass that settled over northern Minnesota may have influenced the track of the storm.

Travel this morning is still expected to be difficult across much of the Northland with snow and blowing snow, slippery roads and near whiteout conditions, Weather Service forecasters said. Expect sustained winds off Lake Superior in the 20- to 30-mph range, with gusts as high as 35 mph.

"We're going to see dangerous travel conditions ... through most of Wednesday,'' said Dan Miller, another National Weather Service meteorologist in Duluth.

Lesser amounts of snow, 3 to 6 inches, were expected in the McGregor, Brainerd and Iron Range areas, with snow quickly replaced later today by cold arctic air and more wind. Only 1-2 inches were forecast today for Grand Rapids and International Falls.

Bitter cold is expected to funnel in as the storm moves out later today, with overnight lows well below zero and wind chill values hitting 20 below and colder. Temperatures are expected to remain well below normal through most of next week.

The same giant storm system brought snow and cold to nearly the entire western half of the U.S. on Monday and Tuesday, with ice storms in Oklahoma and near blizzard conditions in Iowa last night.

Related Topics: WEATHER
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