Storm leads to 3 road deaths in western Minn.; dangerous wind chills blow in

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Wind gusts of 40 mph or more created blizzard conditions in western Minnesota Monday, forcing road closures in the Red River Valley and contributing to the deaths of three people in car accidents.

A blizzard warning for west-central counties through Monday evening will give way to a wind chill advisory for much of the state Tuesday morning. Forecasters say wind chill readings will sink into the 25 to 35 below range between midnight and noon.

The State Patrol is investigating a crash on Interstate 94 near Barnesville that involved four vehicles and killed at least two people. A trooper told Forum News Service motorists were driving too fast for the limited visibility. The section of the Interstate where the accident occured was closed for a time and a no-travel advisory was in effect.

The State Patrol also reported a fatal accident on state highway 23 near Granite Falls.

Wind gusts up to 50 mph, blowing snow and reduced visibility are in the forecast west of the Twin Cities through late Monday night, KARE 11 reports. Troopers had responded to dozens of crashes and one squad car was struck, KARE reported.

Forecasters expect the howling winds will start quieting Tuesday afternoon, but don't look for temperatures to crack 20 degrees in the Twin Cities until Thursday. And that's when a snowstorm is poised to move in, although snowfall amounts are still a little hazy.

Here's KSTP's forecast:

Meanwhile, meteorologist Paul Douglas says a parade of snowstorms could help ease the state's drought.

In related news Monday, experts say that climate change can mean less snow – but more blizzards.

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