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December leaves like a lion as round one of a winter storm began Thursday with rain followed by snow. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

UPDATED: Second of two winter storms getting started

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News Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Bemidji area from 6 p.m. Friday to noon Saturday as the second of two systems moves into the region. Another 4 to 9 inches of snow is likely.

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The next storm is expected to reach the southern Red River Valley late this afternoon and rapidly spread north. Blizzard conditions are expected throughout all of eastern North Dakota and wester Minnesota. Snow will be heavy at times along with winds gusting to 40 mph in some areas.

The first blizzard, which ended early Friday morning, brought 5 to 12 inches of snow to the region and made travel nearly impossible.

Freezing rain and light snow began Thursday morning but quickly tapered off. The snow started over the noon hour and lasted until after 3 a.m. Intense winds diminished as well, allowing visibility to improve. Main roads in the city were plowed after 5 a.m., but many roads in the Bemidji area remained unplowed at dawn.

The second, more powerful storm could bring heavy snow and high winds, creating blizzard conditions.

"Round two is low pressure which will move from the Kansas City area north into central Minnesota tonight," the NWS said on its website. Snow with this system will arrive in southeast North Dakota and west central Minnesota mid to late afternoon Friday and spread north and east tonight.

New accumulations of 6 to 9 inches of snow are expected.

Here is the forecast for the Bemidji area as of 4 p.m.:

Tonight: Snow and areas of blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 3. Wind chill values as low as -17. Blustery, with a north northwest wind 22 to 25 mph decreasing to between 14 and 17 mph. Winds could gust as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.

New Year's Day: Snow and widespread blowing snow before noon, then widespread blowing snow and a chance of snow after noon. High near 8. Wind chill values as low as -18. Blustery, with a west northwest wind between 16 and 24 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around -5. Wind chill values as low as -21. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 21 mph decreasing to between 7 and 10 mph. Winds could gust as high as 29 mph.

Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 6. Wind chill values as low as -19. West wind between 3 and 7 mph.

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around -13. Southwest wind between 3 and 5 mph.

Monday: A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 6.

Monday Night: Cloudy, with a low around -7.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 10.

Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around -3.

Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 13.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around -6.

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 13.

Thursday Night: Cloudy, with a low around 7.

Friday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 15.

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Bethany Wesley
(218) 333-9200 x337
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