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Snowstorm brings chills and ice, but no blizzard

The first winter storm of the season brought icy conditions, high winds and cold temperatures Thursday, and some areas in northwest Minnesota got hammered with 8 inches of snow.

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The first winter storm of the season brought icy conditions, high winds and cold temperatures Thursday, and some areas in northwest Minnesota got hammered with 8 inches of snow.

The wintery weather could be here to stay, at least through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

A low front brought in winds exceeding 60 mph Thursday, with Grand Forks clocking a high speed of 64 mph, meteorologist Ryan Knutsvig said. The city recorded about 0.2 inches of snow.

More snow fell to the northeast of Grand Forks, especially into northwest Minnesota. Warroad, Minn., reported about 8 inches, Knutsvig said. Roseau, Minn., reported 8.5 inches.

Overall, reports fluctuated. Some areas saw trace amounts while others in Polk County saw 1 to 3 inches.

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The rain-snow mix and heavy winds produced icy conditions for drivers. Roads in Grand Forks were still slippery Friday morning. Ice and snow were a factor in a one-vehicle crash Thursday in Bagley, Minn. The 2005 Chrysler Town and Country was westbound on U.S. Highway 2 near Minnesota Highway 92 when it slid into the ditch and rolled onto its roof at 5:52 p.m. Thursday.

The driver, 26-year-old Jessica Joan Cagle of Grand Rapids, Minn., and two children in the vehicle were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Despite the high winds and snow, the storm did not qualify as a blizzard, Knutsvig said. The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a storm that produces winds that exceed 35 mph. The storm also must reduce visibility to a quarter-mile or less for three hours.

There were times near Warroad during which heavy snow reduced visibility to a quarter-mile or less, but not for an extended period, Knutsvig said.

The storm also brought windchills in the single digits Friday morning. Grand Forks was set to see a windchill of 10 degrees with an air temperature in the high teens to mid-20s, according to the weather service. To the south, Fargo had a windchill of 8 degrees, according to the weather service.

Conditions should improve into the weekend, with skies clearing Saturday and temperatures rising to 40 degrees. Another chance of a wintery mix also returns Saturday night and on Monday.

Sunday's high could rise into the mid-40s but should drop back into the 30s as the workweek begins, according to the weather service. Lows should linger in the 20s or high teens.

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