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Bitter cold, high winds, snow set to mess with holiday travel – MPR News

Winter storm, blizzard warnings start Wednesday
Here we go again, Minnesota.
Our next winter storm comes at a bad time for holiday travel. This major winter storm features drier, fluffy snow that will be lofted airborne easily as winds pick up Thursday and Friday.
Travel conditions will deteriorate as snow moves in Wednesday, and then the winds will kick in blizzard conditions as we move into Thursday and Friday.
Bitter cold wind chills will be life-threatening for anyone caught outside Thursday into Saturday. This is a serious situation and travel will be difficult to impossible from Wednesday afternoon through Friday across most of our region.
Winter storm warnings are posted for most of Minnesota starting Wednesday.
Including the cities of Center City, Minneapolis, Blaine, St Paul, Stillwater, Hastings, Osceola, Rice Lake, Ladysmith, and Hudson
258 PM CST Tue Dec 20 2022 …WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM WEDNESDAY TO 3 AM CST THURSDAY… …WINTER STORM WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE FRIDAY NIGHT…
* WHAT…For the Winter Storm Warning, heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 5 to 8 inches. For the Winter Storm Watch, blizzard conditions possible. Total snow accumulations of up to one inch possible. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph.
* WHERE…Portions of east central Minnesota and northwest and west central Wisconsin.
* WHEN…For the Winter Storm Warning, from 9 AM Wednesday to 3 AM CST Thursday. For the Winter Storm Watch, from Thursday afternoon through late Friday night.
* IMPACTS…Travel could be very difficult or impossible. Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches. The dangerously cold wind chills as low as 35 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…This could be a life-threatening situation if you get stranded traveling late this week. Consider adjusting any travel plans now.
Blizzard warnings are posted for southwest Minnesota Thursday and Friday.
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Including the cities of Madison, Montevideo, Willmar, Granite Falls, Olivia, Redwood Falls, and New Ulm
258 PM CST Tue Dec 20 2022
…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM WEDNESDAY TO NOON CST THURSDAY… …WIND CHILL WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM THURSDAY TO NOON CST SATURDAY… …BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON THURSDAY TO 6 AM CST SATURDAY…
* WHAT…For the Winter Storm Warning, heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 5 to 8 inches. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph. For the Blizzard Warning, blizzard conditions expected. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph. For the Wind Chill Warning, dangerously cold wind chills expected. Wind chills as low as 40 below zero.
* WHERE…Portions of central, south central, southwest and west central Minnesota.
* WHEN…For the Winter Storm Warning, from 6 AM Wednesday to noon CST Thursday. For the Blizzard Warning, from noon Thursday to 6 AM CST Saturday. For the Wind Chill Warning, from 6 AM Thursday to noon CST Saturday.
* IMPACTS…Travel could be very difficult or impossible. Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches. The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…This could be a life-threatening situation if you get stranded traveling late this week. Consider adjusting any travel plans now.
The low-pressure storm will track south of Minnesota between Wednesday and Friday. Snow will begin in western Minnesota early Wednesday morning and spread east across the state.
We may see some snow in the Twin Cities before noon, but the bulk of the snow will fall Wednesday afternoon into early Thursday morning.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model below captures the essence between noon Wednesday and 6 p.m. Friday:
Northwestern Minnesota will see the least snow with most areas getting between 1 and 3 inches. A band of 3 to 8 inches is likely from Brainerd to the Iron Range and Ely.
Snowfall confidence is lower than usual with this storm. There are some models that bring less snow to the Twin Cities, or like 3 to 6 inches. Overall a band of 4 to 8 inches looks most likely for central Minnesota and the Twin Cities. Higher totals may blanket the North Shore and Wisconsin.
Here’s NOAA’s latest snowfall projection:
The big story with this system is the wind that will whip fluffy snow into blizzard conditions in open areas. Wind gusts to near 50 mph are possible Thursday through Friday night.
Wind chills of minus 30 and into the minus 40s are likely Thursday and Friday nights.
Stay safe Minnesota.

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