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Plows pulled off western MN roads amid whiteout; blizzard warning 'til noon

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Winds gusting at more than 40 mph spread across western and south central Minnesota Sunday night, stirring up snow into whiteout conditions that led state officials to pull snowplows off roads and advise no travel in much of the region.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for south central Minnesota that continues through Monday morning; a separate warning for the Red River Valley was in effect until 6 a.m.

Other areas are under winter storm warnings or weather advisories.

https://twitter.com/NWSTwinCities/status/696496904650162176

https://twitter.com/mark_tarello/status/696469145718820864

https://twitter.com/NWSGrandForks/status/696462840266432512

In northwestern Minnesota, the Weather Service was expecting visibility near zero in the area from Hallock to Crookston, with travel "difficult to impossible."

Only 1-3 inches of snow was expected to fall but there's already deep snow cover – between 4-10 inches – from last week's storm. The strong winds tossing that snow around reduced visibility near zero in some places.

Wind gusts were already around 50 mph in south central counties by Sunday evening, KSTP reports. They note that temperatures dropped quickly during the evening, creating a glaze of ice after daytime highs climbed well into the 30s.

A spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDot) told WCCO poor visibility caused officials to pull plows off roads in nine western Minnesota counties. The Waseca County News later named another 13 counties in southwestern and south central Minnesota where plowing was also abandoned until conditions improve.

In all of the purple areas on the map below, no travel was advised Sunday evening.

For the latest road conditions, check the MnDOT's website here.

https://twitter.com/mark_tarello/status/695999172382593024

Winds were not expected to be as strong in the Twin Cities and southeastern Minnesota, which are under a winter weather advisory. But officials say blowing snow is still possible.

Here's the latest video weather briefing from the National Weather Service:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bnFtliTwEk&feature=youtu.be

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