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Cloquet schools canceled for Thursday, other county schools likely canceled too

Cloquet Schools Superintendent Michael Cary announced that school is canceled for Thursday, April 11, because of weather predictions that would cause students to be traveling home in the worst of the storm.

"The morning will probably look OK Thursday, but they are predicting a huge spike in snow between noon and 2 p.m.," Cary said. "That's too late for us to do an early release, so it would mean kids would be traveling home from school at the worst time. After conferring with other Carlton County superintendents, we decided it's not worth risking the safety of the kids."

Cary said the school district is aware the state legislature recently passed legislation that would not require school districts to make up missed days, but he said the Cloquet district will look at the financial and other implications before they make any decision on that.

Here is the latest forecast from the National Weather Service office in Duluth, posted at 4:05 a.m. Wednesday:

A strong early spring storm will bring heavy precipitation and

strong winds to the Northland on Thursday, with near-blizzard

conditions possible during the day Thursday. Precipitation will

begin this evening with an area of light to moderate snow in

east-central Minnesota and parts of northwest Wisconsin lifting

northward, with heavy snow possible from Brainerd to Hinckley to

Hayward before daybreak Thursday morning. This first round of snow

may lift northward into northern Minnesota during Thursday morning

followed by a brief lull, then a period of very heavy snowfall

Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening for all of the Northland,

including the Twin Ports. Snow may turn to a wintry mix in

northwest Wisconsin Thursday night before ending from west to

east Friday, possibly changing over to rain or drizzle. In

addition to the precipitation, very strong east winds will cause

blowing snow to significantly reduce visibility. Travel conditions

could be life-threatening for a period Thursday afternoon with

rapidly accumulating heavy, wet snow and winds gusting to 40 to 50

mph, strongest in the Twin Ports and along the shoreline western

Lake Superior.



* WHAT...Heavy mixed precipitation expected. Total snow

accumulations of 10 to 16 inches, except 10 to 14 inches for the

higher terrain of the North Shore, and 8 to 12 inches for

northern Douglas and Bayfield counties. Winds gusting as high as

50 mph, especially on the Blatnik and Bong bridges between

Duluth and Superior.

* WHERE...Portions of northwest Wisconsin and east central,

north central and northeast Minnesota.

* WHEN...From 1 AM Thursday to 1 PM CDT Friday. Conditions will be

worst Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Travel could be very difficult to

impossible. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce

visibility. The hazardous conditions will impact the Thursday

evening commute. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches.


A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet

and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

The latest road conditions for Minnesota can be found at

511mn.org, and for Wisconsin at 511wi.gov, or by calling 511 in

either state.