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Near-zero visibility: No travel advised in southern, southwestern Minnesota

Very strong winds are whipping around snow.
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Snow and ice have made road conditions in the Twin Cities slick Saturday morning, but roadways are much worse in parts of south-central and southwest Minnesota where no travel advisories have been posted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. 

No travel is advised on Interstate 90 from the South Dakota border almost all the way to Albert Lea where I-90 meets I-35. 

"NO TRAVEL ADVISED this morning. Stay home if you can. Plows are reporting near or at zero visibility," says MnDOT. 

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Blowing snow associated with blizzard warnings in western Minnesota will cause persistent whiteout conditions, and drifting of snow, through the day Saturday. Winds will be out of the northwest at fierce levels. More on that from the National Weather Service: 

"Gusts of 45 to 55 mph are occurring across southwest and west central Minnesota. These winds will spread eastward across southern Minnesota early this morning with blizzard conditions expected to reach the I-35 corridor by 9 AM.

"Wind gusts to 55 mph are possible with visibilities near zero at times for the rest of the day. The worst conditions will occur in west central into south central Minnesota through the day. The Blizzard Warning continues for west central into a portion of south central Minnesota today. In addition, falling temperatures into the single digits above and below zero will lead to icy roads and very cold wind chills this afternoon."

Snow totals aren't as high as the National Weather Service forecasted, but in addition to 4-5 inches of snow that fell around the metro area, freezing drizzle also accumulated. At the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen, 0.2 inches of ice piled up on top of snow that fell. 

Minor accumulations up to an inch of snow are possible before the storm's precipitation shield exits the area. 

The winter storm warning remains in effect through 6 p.m. due to the expected blowing snow associated with the wind. 

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