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    Late-Season Snowstorm for Northern Plains, Midwest

    By By Bill Deger, Meteorologist
    April 21, 2011, 1:31:45 AM EDT

    A major storm system across the nation's midsection is leading to wintry trouble for the northern Plains and Upper Midwest tonight.

    Cold air pouring south from Canada will help support a plowable snow, expanding east from the Dakotas to Michigan through early Wednesday morning. After weeks of non-use, many residents will need to break out the shovels and snow blowers once again.

    With ample moisture streaming in from the south, some locations, especially from northeastern Wisconsin to northern Michigan, could have up to a foot of snow by daybreak on Wednesday.

    Much of northeastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota, including Duluth, will escape any flakes from this storm, as dry air will impede precipitation from advancing too far north.

    While a cooler-than-normal air mass has been settled in across the region for days, the late-season heavy snow could prove to be a shock to the system for some residents of Minnesota and Wisconsin.


    It's been nearly a month since a storm brought notable snow to much of the Midwest (March 23), while a few inches fell as recently as a few days ago over the Dakotas.

    Icy, snow-covered roads will make for perilous travel across the impacted area. Winds gusting above 20 mph will also help reduce visibilities to below a mile at times.

    With temperatures hovering a few degrees around freezing, the liquid water content of the snow will be rather high, making it heavy and wet, and thus difficult to shovel.

    Elderly individuals, and those with certain heart and respiratory ailments, should exercise caution when removing snow. Keep in mind that a high April sun angle, combined with milder temperatures in the coming days, will melt much of the snow anyway.

    Farther south, this same storm has triggered another severe weather outbreak from the central Plains east through the Tennessee and Ohio valleys.

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