Shortly after a multi-vehicle pileup on Interstate 94 near Monticello Thursday morning, the National Weather Service issued a snow squall warning for east-central Wright County and north-central Hennepin County until 10:30 a.m.
The weather service warns that "a dangerous snow squall was located over Albertville, or 10 miles northeast of Buffalo, moving southeast at 15 mph." The squall is creating "extremely poor visibility" on Interstate 94.
Snow squall warnings are typically reserved for areas near coastlines, like the Duluth-Superior area, but when snowfall rates are intense enough the weather service will issue them for land-based areas, as is the case this morning. This is the first snow squall warning ever issued by the Twin Cities office of the NWS.
Here's a look at the radar from 9:50 a.m., with the deeper shades of blue indicating the heaviest snowfall.
Locations in the warning include Maple Grove, Ramsey, Champlin, St. Michael, Otsego, Rogers, Albertville, Corcoran, Dayton and Hanover.
The snow isn't expected to produce more than an inch or so, but it's going to come down with ferocity, and was potentially behind an ongoing pileup on westbound I-94.
The Twin Cities office of the NWS describes a snow squall warning as: "Snow squall warnings are short-fused and focused on distinct areas. These warnings provide critical, highly localized life-saving information. If a snow squall warning is issued for your area, avoid or delay motor travel until the squall passes through your location."