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Winter storm with double-digit snowfall barrels toward Midwest

CHICAGO — A strong winter storm system is forecast to sweep across the Midwest into New England, bringing double-digit snow accumulations and high winds.

The National Weather Service on Friday had winter storm warnings and watches in effect from the Dakotas, across the Great Lakes states and into New England.

Forecasters say the storm is expected to begin Friday afternoon in the Chicago area, bringing as many as 9 inches (23 centimeters) of snow before intensifying and reaching New York.

The weather service says conditions in New England “could approach blizzard criteria.” Snow totals of 16 inches to 17 inches (40-43 centimeters) are forecast in parts of Massachusetts and Maine. Wind gusts in the Chicago area are expected to reach 30 mph to 35 mph (49-56 kph)

Bitterly cold air is expected in the storm’s aftermath.

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