With many people planning to travel for the long Christmas weekend, it's important to stay weather ready and weather aware. The Severe Weather Action Team (SWAT) will help you stay on top of this changing weather situation. Here is what we know so far.

NWS-Bismarck

The  storm will produce heavy snow and strong gusty winds across the region, and the further East you are or travel, the difference between blizzard conditions changing to freezing rain, sleet and snow can be a line of 50 miles.

At this time, a blizzard watch remains in effect for a majority of the state, and locally, this includes the counties of Burleigh, Divide, Morton, Kidder, Stutsman, Sioux, Emmons, McIntosh, Mercer and McKenzie.

The early predictions in terms of snowfall amounts consist of 6 inches during the day on Sunday and an additional 6 inches Sunday night. The timing of the storm is very important. At this point, you could wake up to clouds Christmas morning and by lunchtime, the snow can start to fall accompanied by strong gusty winds, as strong at 50 mph in the area.

It is important that residents in the blizzard watch area make plans to adjust or change their travel plans, and make the necessary pre-blizzard preparation and action now. As time progresses through the weekend and holiday, these watches could become warnings and travel will be impacted if possible at all. Needless to stress, travel could be life threatening if these predictions become a reality.

At this point, areas to the West of Bismarck-Mandan have the potential to receive from 4-8 inches of snow. Areas from Bismarck to Minot and East to Jamestown have the potential to receive up to, or more than a foot of snow before this system moves out of the area. Fargo-Moorhead and Lisbon areas have a winter storm watch, and this is the area where the line between blizzard and freezing rain is located.

Conditions will slowly improve Monday, mid morning into the afternoon.

Stay with Townsquare Media for continuing coverage of the Christmas snow storm of 2016.

(source)