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Winter storm update: Dangerous travel conditions Wednesday in Minnesota

Snow totals have been bumped up and might go even higher.

Dangerous travel conditions are expected across all of Minnesota Tuesday through Wednesday as a winter storm delivers a blow of snow and strong winds. 

On Tuesday afternoon the National Weather Service placed the Red River Valley in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, and a few counties in the Rochester area, in a blizzard warning. 

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The rest of Minnesota is under a winter weather advisory until 3 p.m. Wednesday, including the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Mankato and Duluth.  

"Slippery roads and near zero visibility possible at times as blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. In addition, cold wind chills near 25 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes," explains the NWS. 

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The latest snowfall forecast from the NWS predicts 3-4 inches in the Twin Cities, with pockets of up to 6 inches of snow in central and northern Minnesota. The North Shore of Lake Superior could get more than a half foot of snow, while the South Shore in northern Wisconsin is expected to get pummeled with 12-18+ inches. 

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"Overall snow amounts will vary quite a bit based on location, and will prove difficult to measure due to the winds," says the NWS Twin Cities. "We can generally expect 3-6 inches along and north of I-94 with the highest totals in western WI, 2-4 inches just south of I-94 including the Twin Cities, and 1-2 inches in far southern Minnesota."

Tom Novak of Novak Weather and Bring Me The News expects some surprising snow totals out of this storm system, most likely in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"This is a scenario where final snow totals should be quite surprising in some locations, especially over northern Minnesota/Wisconsin," Novak said Tuesday morning. "This is due to the impressive atmospheric dynamics combined with high snow/liquid ratios which makes for a highly efficient snow production environment. Meanwhile, the light snow and flurries have the potential to linger well into the evening hours on Wednesday. On the other hand, a reason for pessimism is the lack of deep moisture as the Gulf of Mexico is NOT open for business."

Here's the latest simulated future radar from the HRRR model, which shows snow beginning to impact the metro area after midnight and continuing through the morning rush before dissipating Wednesday afternoon.  


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