All of Twin Cities metro area added to blizzard warning

Extreme blowing snow will lead to impossible travel conditions.
Publish date:
Screen Shot 2020-12-23 at 2.09.36 PM


The entire Twin Cities metro area has been added to the blizzard warning until 6 a.m. Thursday, though the weather service says conditions will improve after 9 p.m. when the heaviest snow exits the area. Here's the updated blizzard warning language: 

"Snow will continue into this evening area wide, then taper off after midnight. Total snow accumulations of 7 to as much as 11 inches are expected from Mankato, through Twin Cities, and Chisago City in Minnesota. 3 to 6 inches of snow is expected across western Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.

"Strong northwest winds of 35 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph have developed over western Minnesota and will spread east across the rest of Minnesota this afternoon. Considerable blowing and drifting snow and whiteout conditions are occurring. Travel will become very dangerous, if not impossible today and tonight. Wind chills dropping to 25 below to 40 below zero will be especially dangerous to those that may become stranded."


Original story

Welcome to what is going to be a wild day of weather, where morning temperatures in the 40s are going to drop like a rock throughout the day and be accompanied by a major snowstorm that is poised to deliver very heavy snow and ferocious winds that will make travel nearly impossible over much of Minnesota. 

Blizzard and winter storm warnings are in effect, with conditions rapidly deteriorating already this morning in western Minnesota. Conditions will worsen from west to east as the day progresses, with precipitation reaching the Twin Cities by or before 12 p.m. 

Red is a blizzard warning; pink is a winter storm warning; purple is a winter weather advisory. 

Red is a blizzard warning; pink is a winter storm warning; purple is a winter weather advisory. 

"Light rain will change to snow by this afternoon. Snow rates of 1 to 2"/hr will be possible into this evening. High winds are expected to ramp up with gusts up to 60 mph. Blizzard conditions & blowing snow likely," the weather service says. 

Today's weather is sponsored by Grand Casino: Good, clean, sanitized fun!

The latest snowfall projection map from the National Weather Service shows the bullseye right over the the west/northwest metro and up the Interstate 35 corridor into the Duluth area and northwest Wisconsin, where 6-12 inches could fall.


As the weather service notes in the forecast discussion, it's possible that locations that fall under the heaviest band of snow could get more than the graphic above is forecasting, and that's exactly what most of the computer models are suggesting will happen. 

The American model is throwing a whopping 12-20 inches of snow in the metro and east-central Minnesota, while the latest short-term HRRR model tosses out more than a foot. 

The numbers on the map are snowfall estimates (inches) from the HRRR model. 

The numbers on the map are snowfall estimates (inches) from the HRRR model. 

Here's the HRRR simulated radar. 


A flash freeze scenario is expected to unfold as rain and mixed precipitation quickly changes to snow by early afternoon. Combine the wet roads with plummeting temperatures and a flash freeze is likely, thus creating "extremely dangerous" travel conditions this afternoon, according to the weather service. 

The Winter Storm Severity Index now shows areas just west of the metro expected to meet the extreme criteria, which means big-time blowing snow problems can be expected, possibly causing damage to trees, power poles and roofs. . 


"High winds are expected to develop with wind gusts up to 60 mph this afternoon. Any snow that falls will be blown around and impact travel. Temperatures will also plummet into the single digits and teens by 5 PM with wind chills dropping below zero," says the NWS. 


The snowstorm is hitting on what is typically a busy travel day ahead of Christmas, and there are already reports of flight delays and cancellations at MSP Airport. No travel advisories are also being issued where blizzard conditions are occurring Wednesday morning in northwest Minnesota. 

Next Up


Reports: 'Miracle on Ice' star Mark Pavelich found dead at treatment facility

The 63-year-old had been ordered to undergo psychiatric care.

hennepin county government center fencing minneapolis chauvin

Minneapolis, Hennepin County spending $1M on barricades, fencing for Chauvin trial

Minneapolis hopes to be reimbursed for fortification costs by the state if it passes the proposed SAFE Account.

police lights

Police: 3 Minnesotans made fake report to divert SD police away drug investigation

Three people from Detroit Lakes are facing charges, with two of the men involved accused of making a false report of gunmen entering a local business.

Drive-up vaccine

HealthPartners opens drive-up COVID vaccine site

The healthcare provider says it's the first drive-up vaccination site in the state.

derek chauvin

Appeals court: Judge must reconsider third-degree murder charge against Chauvin

The appeals court's recent decision on a different officer-involved shooting case is precedent, it said.

covid-19, vaccine

New data reveals Minnesotans getting COVID vaccines are disproportionately white

The Minnesota Department of Health revealed race and ethnicity vaccine data on Friday.

Bryan Ellinger

Charges: Trail of Terror supervisor sexually assaulted 3 teenage employees

Bryan Ellinger was arrested in January accused of raping a 15-year-old employee. Two more women have come forward accusing him of sexually assaulted them as teens.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 8.52.53 AM

Donations flood in for N. Minneapolis teen who penned Star Tribune column

Marcus Hunter gained recognition for writing about his experience as a Black teen in North Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 7.49.11 AM

Fatal crash victim identified as newlywed from Buffalo

Whitney Nelson died after a two-vehicle crash near Glencoe Tuesday.


Twin Cities added to winter storm warning as large system nears

The storm will bring impacts to the entire state.

snow, buses, metro transit

Blizzard warnings issued for 'potentially historic' snowstorm

Parts of southwest Minnesota could get 2 feet of snow.

Winter storm watch: A foot of snow possible in the Twin Cities

The snow is expected to bring heavy snow most of the day Friday.

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.

Twin Cities added to winter storm watch

Will this be a repeat of last year's April snowstorm?


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.


Warnings expand: Heavy snow, blizzard conditions to hammer MN

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

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.