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Winds, Snow Creating 'Ground Blizzard' Conditions West of St. Michael

Dozens of spinouts and accidents have been reported in the Twin Cities metro. In rural areas, authorities are advising no travel as the wind whips around snow, reducing visibility.

Minnesota road conditions as of noon, Wednesday, Jan. 22. (Source: 511.org)
Minnesota road conditions as of noon, Wednesday, Jan. 22. (Source: 511.org)
The Minnesota State Patrol is advising no travel in Western Minnesota, and conditions closer to St. Michael-Albertville are said to be "deteriorating" as snow and blowing snow create slippery conditions on rural roads in Wright County. 

It's all part of the latest "clipper" system to hit the state, which dropped about 2 inches of snow on St. Michael, according to a local spotter, this morning. Now, winds in excess of 20 mph locally, with gusts of up to 35 mph in open areas, are creating "ground blizzard" conditions. A tweet from a Mankato spotter showed white-out conditions near that community along Highway 14, and roads are being closed due to blowing in drifting in the northwestern part of the state today. 

St. Michael is under a Winter Weather Advisory until 6 p.m. due to the conditions. A Wind Chill Warning has been issued for tonight into Thursday morning, as temperatures are expected to dip down to the teens below zero overnight with winds of 10 to 15 mph, making travel difficult and conditions very dangerous outdoors. 

Road conditions can be researched at the Minnesota Department of Transportation's website. The National Weather Service, Minnesota State Patrol and MnDOT are all advising against travel tonight, but if drivers must hit the roads, they should carry a winter survival kit in their vehicles. 


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