Forecasted Christmas Day storm: Anglers, hunters be aware

A white Christmas is already a guarantee across most of Outdoor News territory: From Minnesota to parts of New York state, it was a white December well before the upcoming Christmas weekend, when even more snow and wintery weather is expected.

According to reports Thursday, a dangerous blizzard in the Plains is predicted for Sunday — Christmas Day. And, according to, with the potential of danger over the holiday weekend, the National Weather Service in Rapid City, S.D., already had issued a blizzard watch Wednesday — three to four days before Winter Storm Europa is expected to hit that area, adding that blizzard watches have also been posted for parts of North Dakota.

Also according to for Sunday:

  • Heavy snow is likely in parts of the northern Plains and Rockies.
  • Blizzard conditions are probable in the northern Plains and High Plains, including parts of eastern Montana, Wyoming, the western Dakotas and possibly western Nebraska.
  • A mix of sleet or freezing rain could affect locations just south and east of the snow, from the northern Plains to the upper Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes.
  • The southern side of this storm system could also feature some thunderstorms, some of which may be severe in the central and southern Plains.
  • By Sunday night, some light freezing rain may begin in parts of central or upstate New York.

Well before this forecast, state natural resources agencies from across the Upper Midwest and beyond were stressing ice safety for hard-water anglers — and anyone venturing onto the ice. Whether the storm will impact ice conditions remains to be seen, but agencies such as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources continued to preach ice safety via releases and social media on Thursday. With reports of several vehicles going through the ice already this week, the Minnesota DNR offered up a similar release. And the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources warned of safety issues with ice dunes at Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie.

And while the storm is expected to subside by Dec. 26, hunters participating in Pennsylvania’s archery and flintlock deer-hunting seasons, which open statewide that day, also are being asked to use care, along with anyone participating in the remaining hunting and trapping seasons still open from Minnesota to New York state. The Iowa DNR also offered up tips for keeping your hunting partners — as in hunting dogs — safe in the field in the winter.

Such precautions could be paramount for any creatures venturing outside this Christmas Day.


Categories: Firearms, Ice Fishing, Whitetail Deer

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