Howling winds and heavy snow; blizzard warning includes Twin Cities

Travel will be very hazardous to nearly impossible over much of the southern half of Minnesota and western Wisconsin the remainder of this afternoon and this Saturday night.

Blizzard warnings have been expanded to include the entire Twin Cities metro area:

NWS Twin Cities

Details of the metro area portion of the blizzard warning, which continues until 7 a.m. Sunday:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
1237 PM CDT Sat Apr 14 2018

…BLIZZARD WARNING EXPANDED THROUGH THE TWIN CITIES METRO…
…HISTORIC WINTER STORM ONGOING…
…SNOWFALL RATES AROUND UP TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR POSSIBLE THIS
AFTERNOON…

.This is shaping up to be a historic storm. Please stay off the
roads if possible, especially in southern Minnesota. Several
rounds of very heavy snow will continue through this afternoon
into this evening. Snowfall rates of around 1 to 2 inches per
hour can be expected through the afternoon hours. The snow will
taper down Saturday night, but light snow will continue into
Sunday.

A Blizzard Warning remains in effect through this evening for
the southern third of Minnesota and far western Wisconsin. A
Winter Storm Warning remains in effect to the north and east of
the Blizzard Warning, including a portion of central Minnesota and
the rest of west central Wisconsin. A Winter Weather Advisory
remains in effect for Morrison County Minnesota.

Total snow accumulations of 8 to 15 inches are expected through
Sunday from southwest Minnesota to east central Minnesota and
northern Wisconsin. Totals will taper off to 4 to 8 inches across
west central Minnesota. There will likely be a sharp gradient on
the north side of the heavy snow band.

MNZ059>063-070-078-WIZ023-024-150145-
/O.UPG.KMPX.WS.W.0008.000000T0000Z-180416T0000Z/
/O.EXA.KMPX.BZ.W.0002.000000T0000Z-180415T1200Z/
Wright-Hennepin-Anoka-Ramsey-Washington-Dakota-Goodhue-St. Croix-
Pierce-
Including the cities of Monticello, Minneapolis, Blaine, St Paul,
Stillwater, Hastings, Red Wing, Hudson, River Falls, and Prescott
1237 PM CDT Sat Apr 14 2018

…BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM CDT SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Blizzard conditions. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph
will cause whiteout conditions in blowing snow. Significant
drifting of the snow is likely. Additional snow accumulations
of 9 to 13 inches are expected.

* WHERE…Portions of west central Wisconsin and central, east
central and southeast Minnesota.

* WHEN…Until 7 AM CDT Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel will be very dangerous to
impossible. Tree branches could fall.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are
expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds
and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout
conditions, making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If
you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get
stranded, stay with your vehicle. The latest road conditions for
Minnesota can be found at 511mn.org and for Wisconsin at
511wi.gov, or by calling 5 1 1 in either state.

Details of the blizzard warning in west-central Minnesota:

MNZ047-048-054>058-064>067-073>075-082-083-091-092-150145-
/O.CON.KMPX.BZ.W.0002.000000T0000Z-180415T0600Z/
Stevens-Pope-Lac Qui Parle-Swift-Chippewa-Kandiyohi-Meeker-
Yellow Medicine-Renville-McLeod-Sibley-Redwood-Brown-Nicollet-
Watonwan-Blue Earth-Martin-Faribault-
Including the cities of Morris, Glenwood, Madison, Benson,
Montevideo, Willmar, Litchfield, Granite Falls, Olivia,
Hutchinson, Gaylord, Redwood Falls, New Ulm, St Peter, St James,
Mankato, Fairmont, and Blue Earth
1237 PM CDT Sat Apr 14 2018

…BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM CDT SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Blizzard conditions. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph
will cause whiteout conditions in blowing snow. Significant
drifting of the snow is likely. Additional snow accumulations
of 7 to 11 inches, with localized amounts up to 15 inches, are
expected.

* WHERE…Portions of central, south central, southwest and west
central Minnesota.

* WHEN…Until 1 AM CDT Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel will be very dangerous to
impossible. Tree branches could fall.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are
expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds
and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout
conditions, making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If
you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get
stranded, stay with your vehicle. The latest road conditions for
Minnesota can be found at 511mn.org and for Wisconsin at
511wi.gov, or by calling 5 1 1 in either state.

And the blizzard warning in southwestern Minnesota:

MNZ047-048-054>058-064>067-073>075-082-083-091-092-150145-
/O.CON.KMPX.BZ.W.0002.000000T0000Z-180415T0600Z/
Stevens-Pope-Lac Qui Parle-Swift-Chippewa-Kandiyohi-Meeker-
Yellow Medicine-Renville-McLeod-Sibley-Redwood-Brown-Nicollet-
Watonwan-Blue Earth-Martin-Faribault-
Including the cities of Morris, Glenwood, Madison, Benson,
Montevideo, Willmar, Litchfield, Granite Falls, Olivia,
Hutchinson, Gaylord, Redwood Falls, New Ulm, St Peter, St James,
Mankato, Fairmont, and Blue Earth
1237 PM CDT Sat Apr 14 2018

…BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM CDT SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Blizzard conditions. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph
will cause whiteout conditions in blowing snow. Significant
drifting of the snow is likely. Additional snow accumulations
of 7 to 11 inches, with localized amounts up to 15 inches, are
expected.

* WHERE…Portions of central, south central, southwest and west
central Minnesota.

* WHEN…Until 1 AM CDT Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel will be very dangerous to
impossible. Tree branches could fall.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are
expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds
and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout
conditions, making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If
you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get
stranded, stay with your vehicle. The latest road conditions for
Minnesota can be found at 511mn.org and for Wisconsin at
511wi.gov, or by calling 5 1 1 in either state.

______________________________________________________________________________

Updated warnings 345 pm

The blizzard warnings in west-central Minnesota and southwestern Minnesota have been extended to 7 a.m. Sunday.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Roads have been closed over much of southwestern and south-central Minnesota due to heavy snow and whiteout conditions.

Updates

Updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you can also find updated weather information on the MPR news live weather blog.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will have road condition updates.

Snow reports

As of 1 p.m., the official snow total at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was 3.3 inches, but the storm total is expected to reach double-digit territory.

The NWS interactive snowfall map allows you to see the location and time of snow measurements. It’s zoomable for more detail.

Snow reports are also relayed in text form as they come in.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.