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    Leap Day Blizzard Dakotas to Minnesota

    By By Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist.
    March 01, 2012, 4:13:12 AM EST

    A blizzard will continue to affect portions of the Upper Midwest during Leap Day 2012 with heavy snow, low visibility and gusty winds.

    Feb. 29 happens only once every four years, so blizzards on this date are much more rare than any other day in the winter. Wednesday is Leap Day 2012.

    According to Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski, "Conditions experienced in height of the storm will range from disruptive to immobilizing."

    Cities being hit by the storm today include Fargo and Jamestown in North Dakota, Pierre, Aberdeen in South Dakota and Duluth in Minnesota.

    Even while snow tapers off from west to east over the Dakotas into western Minnesota, gusty winds will continue to cause extensive blowing and drifting of the snow on the ground.

    **The storm has delivered up to a foot and a half of snow and sporadic power outages to portions of northern Wisconsin and central Minnesota. In portions of eastern South and North Dakota, accumulations range from a few inches to nearly a foot. There have been reports of snow drifts to several feet in some locations over the northern Plains, where the snow is more dry and powdery.**

    **Duluth, Minn., was being hammered by the storm with snowfall rates up 2 inches per hour and wind gusts near 50 mph during the morning hours.**


    400x266_02291029_0229_mwnetotsnow

    This map shows storm total snowfall.

    There can even be thunder and lightning in portions of the heavy snow area.

    The storm will also have a warm side to it as many often do with a zone of rain and thunderstorms. Damaging and deadly storms have occurred.


    400x266_02281651_404771_3133347863441_1557120229_3940665_1604658703_n

    While the blizzard diminishes over the northern Plains and the Upper Midwest later today, heavy snow will fall on portions of theNortheast into Thursday.


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    Meteorologist Bill Deger contributed to the content of this story.

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