Blizzard warnings expanded for hazardous blowing snow Thursday

Winds will whip up to 45 mph in western and southern Minnesota.
Author:
Publish date:

UPDATE 4:45 P.M. 

The National Weather Service has expanded blizzard warnings into southwest and south-central Minnesota in anticipation of gusty winds producing significant blowing and drifting snow overnight tonight and much of the day Thursday. 

Screen Shot 2019-01-23 at 4.44.56 PM

Meteorologists in the Twin Cities office of the NWS called MnDOT offices across the state and were informed that there is plenty of powdery snow in southern Minnesota that strong northwest winds will likely whip around with ease, reducing visibilities and causing possible whiteout conditions. 

"Expect the worst conditions to begin late tonight across western Minnesota and during the overnight hours across southern Minnesota, with blizzard conditions expected to continue through mid-morning," the NWS forecast discussion says

"Winds decrease somewhat into the afternoon, but will still be plenty high enough for visibility concerns to continue, though of lesser impact."

Original story

The next legitimate chance of accumulating snow in Minnesota doesn't arrive till Sunday-Monday, but strong northwest winds will create hazardous travel conditions in western and southern Minnesota overnight through Thursday. 

With that, blizzard warnings, winter storm watches and winter weather advisories have been issued for many of those locations.

Again, the snow that'll be blowing around will be from past snowfalls that is already on the ground. Any snow that falls Thursday will be very light or flurries, but that won't help with the blowing snow concerns. 

Screen Shot 2019-01-23 at 7.11.19 AM

"An arctic front surging southward tonight will bring strong northwest winds and result in areas of blowing snow. The worst conditions are expected over western Minnesota," says the National Weather Service. 

A blizzard warning means blowing snow and drifting is imminent. The winter storm watch mean conditions could become favorable for blowing and drifting snow. Here's how the NWS words it

"A Blizzard Warning has been issued for western Minnesota from Wednesday night through Thursday morning as very dangerous travel conditions are expected. Strong northwest winds with gusts of 35 to 45 mph will develop behind an arctic front late Wednesday evening. Due to a deep snowpack, widespread blowing snow with whiteout conditions appear likely across western Minnesota.

In central and southern Minnesota the winds will be a bit lighter, and there is some question about the condition of the snowpack. A Winter Storm Watch remains in effect for blowing and drifting snow Wednesday night through Thursday morning."

Screen Shot 2019-01-23 at 7.10.16 AM

Winds die down Thursday night but the cold air sticks around and Friday morning could be extremely cold, with lows 10-20 below zero. Temps that cold won't require much wind to make it feel like its 30-40 below zero outside. 

Sign up for our BREAKING WEATHER newsletters

The big question for the weekend is whether a clipper system will bring any accumulating snow to the Twin Cities. The NWS is confident that accumulating snow will fall somewhere in Minnesota, but it all depends on the storm's track. 

Currently, models are in pretty good agreement that the snow will dart from northwest to southeast through the center of the state. It's still too far out to trust, but here's a view of the simulated future radar for Sunday afternoon through Monday. 

gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_ncus_fh102-138

Next Up

court gavel

8 people charged in Medicaid fraud scheme totaling $860K

Collectively, they're charged with 46 counts of felony theft.

vaping

Minnesota gets mixed grades on its tobacco report card

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking.

Hardy Wills-Traxler

Charges: Man stabbed his father, set his home on fire

The 25-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Impound lot

Crowded impound lot raises COVID concerns after Minneapolis snow emergency

A vehicle owner complains about the tightly-packed impound lot following the weekend's snow.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, Jan. 27

The latest update from the state health department.

charley's

Charges: Bar owner, employee served underage drinkers during shutdown

The bar hosted 20-30 people on Dec. 4, 2020, charges say.

police lights

Driver wearing bulletproof vest strikes pedestrian in Rochester

The 21-year-old claimed the vest keeps him warm, according to police.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.08.05 PM

6 men charged in connection to 'disturbing trend' of carjackings, shootings

The men are accused of three carjackings in one day, as well as other crimes.

YouTube TV, FSN

Report: Fox Sports North is becoming Bally Sports North

The rebranding will reportedly happen prior to the start of the MLB season.

walmart mask

Wisconsin Senate votes to end statewide mask mandate

The joint resolution now heads to the Republican-controlled state assembly.

Related

snow, buses, metro transit

Blizzard warnings issued for 'potentially historic' snowstorm

Parts of southwest Minnesota could get 2 feet of snow.

snow blower

Blizzard warnings issued with MN set to get slammed by snow, wind

Some hefty snow accumulations are expected in parts of the state.

Ep5BOmzVEAIyvDV

Warnings expand: Heavy snow, blizzard conditions to hammer MN

The storm is ramping up and ready to plow through Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Screen Shot 2020-12-23 at 2.09.36 PM

All of Twin Cities metro area added to blizzard warning

Extreme blowing snow will lead to impossible travel conditions.

Nasty blizzard ready to hammer parts of Minnesota

2 feet of snow is possible in western Minnesota.

blizzard

'Potentially historic' blizzard bearing down on NW MN

Crippling snow and winds will hit the region late Wednesday.

blizzard

Parts of MN in blizzard warning, winter storm watch Wednesday

It's going to be difficult to travel in the western half of Minnesota on Wednesday.

snow, snowplow

Twin Cities added to winter storm warning: Snow totals rising

It's been a yo-yo of a forecast from a difficult to predict winter storm.