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Areas of Minnesota could get up to 12 inches of snow today; Alexandria hit with sudden storm

Portions of northwest and west central Minnesota are expected to receive 6 to 12 inches of snow this afternoon and tonight, the National Weather Service said.

Portions of northwest and west central Minnesota are expected to receive 6 to 12 inches of snow this afternoon and tonight, the National Weather Service said.

Areas east of a line from Roseau to Fosston to Elbow Lake will see the heaviest snowfall, the weather service said.

A snow advisory is in effect from 1 p.m. today to 7 a.m. Saturday for areas including the cities of Moorhead, Mahnomen, Halstad, Detroit Lakes and Breckenridge in Minnesota and Wahpeton, N.D. Snowfall amounts of 2 to 5 inches are expected.

A sudden snowstorm in the Alexandria area on Friday afternoon sent vehicles careering into the ditch - and into each other.

More than a dozen crashes were reported throughout the Douglas County area in a one-hour span that started shortly after 1 p.m.

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Most of the crashes happened on Interstate 94 between Alexandria and Osakis. At least three other accidents occurred on Highway 29 near Miltona and Carlos.

The most serious crash - a head-on collision between a van and a pickup - happened on County Road 82, near Lake Brophy west of Alexandria. Two people were taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Traffic was stopped from both directions on County Road 82 while authorities were working to clear the scene.

All of Alexandria's North Ambulance crews were busy responding to the scenes. Two ambulances from Parkers Prairie were also called in to help.

Authorities described the driving conditions as "treacherous" with big flakes of snow icing the roadways and limiting visibility.

Here's the latest forecast from the National Weather Service for the Bemidji area:

Tonight: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 27. Blustery, with a north northwest wind 25 to 28 mph decreasing to between 16 and 19 mph. Winds could gust as high as 41 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches possible.

Saturday: Snow, mixing with rain after 1pm. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 36. Breezy, with a north northwest wind between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

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Saturday Night: A chance of rain and snow showers before 7pm, then a slight chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25. Northwest wind between 5 and 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Sunday: A slight chance of snow showers, mixing with rain after 7am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. North northwest wind between 3 and 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Sunday Night: A slight chance of rain and snow showers before 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25. North northeast wind between 3 and 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 43.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 49.

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 28.

Wednesday: A slight chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49.

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Wednesday Night: A slight chance of rain. Partly cloudy, with a low around 36.

Thursday: A slight chance of rain. Partly cloudy, with a high near 56.

Thursday Night: A slight chance of rain. Partly cloudy, with a low around 36.

Friday: Partly sunny, with a high near 56.

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