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Forecast

Winds pushing an April blizzard were beginning to diminish a bit, especially away from Lake Superior, and the National Weather Service in Duluth said conditions are gradually improving across parts of the Northland on Friday.

Winds pushing an April blizzard were beginning to diminish a bit, especially away from Lake Superior, and the National Weather Service in Duluth said conditions are gradually improving across parts of the Northland on Friday.

Visibility at Duluth International Airport had increased to a half-mile, enough to spur forecasters to drop the blizzard warning by 4 p.m. today.

A winter storm warning will remain in effect until Saturday morning for areas around Lake Superior and along Minnesota Highway 210 between Duluth and Brainerd where the heaviest snows have fallen so far.

"We'll probably cancel most of the warnings with our 4 p.m. update, but keep a winter storm warning near the lake," said meteorologist Roman Berdes. "The winds are going down a little now, but it's still going to be very windy well into the night.'

Berdes said he didn't think road conditions would improve much until early Saturday.

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Winds that had blown at 40-50 mph all night and into the morning, with a gust as high as 62 mph, have dropped into the 30-40 mph range near Lake Superior. A gale warning remains in effect for the lake, where waves up to 16 feet are expected. Local flooding is possible near shore.

Snowfall totals have ranged from up to 10 inches in some Duluth neighborhoods to more than a foot in parts of Carlton, Pine, Aitkin and Cass counties. Lesser amounts have fallen in Northwestern Wisconsin and on the Iron Range.

Newly developed bands of snow will continue to push into the Twin Ports for much of the evening, Berdes said.

"It's winding down a little, but it's not over yet,' he said.

Greg Frosig, a senior meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Duluth, said total snowfall from the storm will be slightly less than expected near Lake Superior thanks to a late start.

Those gale-force east winds were pumping cold, dry air into the head of the lake Thursday night that acted as a wedge preventing the storm from entering the area as soon as forecasters expected.

"It really didn't start snowing here (at Duluth International Airport) until about 11 p.m. The moisture just couldn't take hold as soon as we thought it would thanks to that push of dry air in here,' Frosig said.

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