Heavy snowfall combined with winds picking up speeds in St. Michael and Albertville have caused hazardous driving conditions, and a blizzard warning has taken effect.
The National Weather Service in Chanhassen has replaced the winter storm warning from Friday with a blizzard warning Sunday morning that will be in effect until midnight today, Sun. Dec. 9.
As of noon Sunday, 6.5 inches of snow fell in the last 24 hours, according to measurements at the Buffalo Municipal Airport.
The "powerfull winter storm" could produce Gusts could blow up to 45 miles per hour.
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The National Weather Service reports the area could get 8 to 15 inches of snow. Here is their full report on conditions and forecast issued at 11:24 a.m. Sunday:
FORECAST SNOW AMOUNTS HAVE INCREASED AS MAJOR WINTER STORM CONTINUES.
BLIZZARD CONDITIONS EXPECTED ACROSS WESTERN MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING.
A BLIZZARD WARNING HAS NOW TAKEN EFFECT FOR MUCH OF WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON DUE TO THE COMBINATION OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH...WITH GUSTS NEAR 45 MPH. A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT TODAY FOR EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN FOR HEAVY SNOWFALL. FAR SOUTHERN MINNESOTA REMAINS UNDER A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY TODAY FOR LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOWFALL.
A POWERFUL WINTER STORM WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY. SNOW WILL CONTINUE THIS AFTERNOON AND BECOME HEAVY. BEHIND THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM...SUSTAINED NORTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH ARE EXPECTED OVER WESTERN MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON BEFORE GRADUALLY TAPERING OFF THIS EVENING. SOME WIND GUSTS MAY EXCEED 40 TO 45 MPH. CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WILL RESULT IN WHITEOUT CONDITIONS MAKING TRAVEL NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE BY THIS AFTERNOON. AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW ARE ALSO EXPECTED FARTHER EAST...BUT LIGHTER WINDS PRECLUDE THE ISSUANCE OF A BLIZZARD WARNING AT THIS TIME.
FINALLY, TEMPERATURES WILL PLUMMET BEHIND THE SYSTEM TO WELL BELOW ZERO LATE TONIGHT OVER WESTERN MINNESOTA WITH WIND CHILL READINGS AS LOW AS 20 TO 30 BELOW. TRAVEL IN THE BLIZZARD AND WINTER STORM WARNING AREAS IS NOT ADVISED. TRAVEL WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT AND STRANDED MOTORISTS RISK GETTING FROSTBITE OR HYPOTHERMIA DUE TO THE FRIGID WIND CHILL LATE THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT.
WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CST TONIGHT.
* TIMING...SNOW...HEAVY AT TIMES...WILL DEVELOP TODAY. THE HEAVY SNOW WILL TAPER OFF THIS EVENING WITH A FEW SNOW SHOWERS EXPECTED THEREAFTER. THE WIND WILL THEN INCREASE FROM THE NORTHWEST WITH DRIFTING SNOW LINGERING THIS EVENING.
* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...8 TO 15 INCHES WITH THE HEAVIEST AMOUNTS IN MINNESOTA.
* OTHER IMPACTS...AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW WILL DEVELOP LATE THIS AFTERNOON OVER CENTRAL AND EASTERN MINNESOTA AS NORTHWEST WINDS INCREASE TO 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
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