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Winter storm 'Gandolf' upgraded

Havre Daily News/Lindsay Brown

What a difference a day makes. To the left, a student crosses the Montana State University-Northern quad Wednesday afternoon, when temperatures reached 50 degrees. To the right, the same location this morning. A foot or more of snow is expected in the next day or two, with temperatures hovering around zero.

A winter storm came to north-central Montana a little earlier than expected and started dropping some winter magic — good or bad — to the area, with the latest forecast upgrading predictions to say Winter Storm Gandolf could leave up to 15 inches of snow in some areas of lower elevations.

Steady snow started falling in Havre before 7 a. m., with the National Weather Service storm warning in effect through 11 o'clock Friday night.

The Weather Service warning says the storm could drop 7 inches to 12 inches of snow in lower elevations, with some areas receiving up to 15 inches, and up to 2 feet in the mountains with isolated areas receiving up to 3 feet.

Snow-covered and icy roadways were expected to develop early today, with reduced visibility — less than ½ mile visibility at some points — expected as north winds gust between 20 mph and 30 mph. The reduced visibility is expected to be particularly severe Friday.

The storm also is bringing much colder temperatures, with the low tonight expected at just warmer than zero degrees, the high Friday predicted at between 1 and 6 degrees and the low Friday night between 10 below zero and 15 below.

Weather Service, and the Weather Channel all predict the snow to stop before Saturday morning, with temperatures staying in the single digits for highs and below zero for lows through Sunday.


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