NWS calls storm ‘life-threatening’ with gusts reaching 65 miles per hour

    Hold onto your hats! Or, better yet, maybe just hang up your hat and stay inside if at all possible on Thursday, when a blizzard the National Weather Service is calling "life-threatening" because it will bring sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and gusts to 65 mph is expected to rage in Crookston and elsewhere in the Red River Valley.   

    The blizzard warning kicks in at midnight tonight and is set to remain in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday. Forecasters say it's expected to be preceded by a balmy Wednesday, with temperatures approaching the mid-30s. Along with that anything from a couple inches of snow, to freezing rain or sleet is expected to fall on Wednesday. There will be some blowing snow and slick roads.   

    Then the Arctic front from Saskatchewan will blow in. Although the system is only expected to bring an inch or so of new snow, sustained winds of 45 to 50 mph are forecast, with gusts topping 60 mph. Whatever snow blows around will create zero visibility at times, and the high winds could lead to localized power outages.   

    Driving in town will be difficult and in open country likely impossible, the NWS states. Those planning travel on Thursday are being advised to rethink and reschedule, and spread the word about the blizzard to friends and family. Check the event and activity schedule frequently, as postponements and cancellations of various things on the Thursday schedule are already coming into the Times.