UPDATE (10:46 a.m.): As blizzard conditions lash northwestern Minnesota, transportation officials on Wednesday morning enacted a no travel advisory for several state and federal highways in Clay, Traverse, Wilkin, and Otter Tail counties. The advisory includes Interstate 94 from Moorhead to Rothsay and Highway 10 from Moorhead and Hawley.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the area until midnight. Snowfall combined with wind gusts stronger than 50 mph are reducing visibility to nothing. According to
Those in the area advised to stay off the roads until conditions improve. MnDOT says plows will be out.
WC MN: limited visibility- blowing snow. This vehicle went off the road into the median Hwy10 between Moorhead & Glyndon (no inj.) I also just finished up w/a semi semi that rear ended a car I94 between Moorhead & Barnesville (no inj) in whiteout conditions. pic.twitter.com/ZYh8YnonqS
— Sgt. Jesse Grabow (@MSPPIO_NW) December 23, 2020
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Those dreaming of a white Christmas in Minnesota this year are about to see their dreams come true Wednesday as a winter storm pushes into the state, threatening blizzard conditions in western and southern Minnesota, and perhaps more than a foot of snow in the Twin Cities metro.
Meteorologist Riley O’Connor says the cold front carrying the storm blew into northwestern Minnesota early Wednesday morning. Traffic cameras in the Moorhead area showed blowing snow before sunrise, creating hazardous driving conditions. The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the area until midnight, as wind gusts stronger than 50 mph are expected along with 3 to 6 inches of snow.
Also under a blizzard warning are much of southern and central Minnesota, including the western counties of the Twin Cities metro. Forecasters say strong northwesterly winds could reduce visibility to zero. Those planning last-minute holiday shopping or errands are encouraged to save it for later this week. Travel is not advised Wednesday, except for emergencies.
As for timing, the cold front will begin pushing into central Minnesota around 10 a.m., reaching the Twin Cities metro around noontime. The storm is expected to blow into western Wisconsin in the early afternoon hours.
— Riley O’Connor (@RileyOConnorwx) December 23, 2020
The Twin Cities is under a winter storm warning, as is northeastern Minnesota. Initially, the storm will bring rain to the metro area, due to the mild overnight temperatures, which were in the mid-forties. But as the cold front advances, the rain will turn to snow, which will fall steadily on the metro.
Weather models Wednesday morning were predicting that the Twin Cities could see anywhere from 10 to 14 inches of snow, depending on where the heaviest snow bands line up and how much of the precipitation falls as snow rather than rain. The takeaway here is that this is shaping up to be a significant snow event. Some metro communities could even see totals as high as 18-20 inches.
Additionally, due to the rain turning quickly to snow in the metro, there’s a chance for flash freezing, which could create dangerous driving conditions.
Following the snow, the strong winds are expected to linger into Thursday morning, reducing visibility. With the winds will come frigid temperatures. The Twin Cities is expected to log its first subzero temperature reading of the season. Meanwhile, cities in northern Minnesota could see the mercury dip into the negative double digits.
As for Christmas day, a warm-up is in the forecast. Expect temperatures to rebound into the upper teens under a mix of sunshine and clouds. Be sure to get the snow boots, snow shoes and sleds ready. There’ll be more than enough snow for a white Christmas.
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