Storm could dump 12 inches of snow in region

(AP) - A storm system making its way toward the upper Midwest in the next few days could dump as much as a foot of snow in some places.

The National Weather Service says blizzard conditions are expected in southwest and south central North Dakota through Monday night.

The heaviest snow is expected along the South Dakota border in the central part of the state. The cities of Bismarck and Dickinson and other points along Interstate 94 could get up to a foot of snow, along with strong winds.

The forecast may not be as bad as it seems for those holding back the swollen Red River.

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National Weather Service meteorologist Al Voelker says the snow will stay on the ground and not start melting much until next week.

That means the snow won't immediately cause the river to rise. The river's supposed to drop to less than 37 feet in about a week.

Voelker says cold is the area's friend right now.

The snowstorm will move into central Minnesota from Monday afternoon through Wednesday.

The weather agency says Cass, Crow Wing and Aitkin counties in central Minnesota could get up to 12 inches of snow by Wednesday morning.

The storm could also dump 6 to 12 inches of wet, heavy snow in Itasca, St. Louis, Carlton and Pine counties in Minnesota, and Burnett, Douglas and Washburn counties in Wisconsin.

The Twin Cities area is likely to get snow and rain. Areas to the north and west could get freezing rain, as well as 3 to 6 inches of snowfall.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)