Heavy snow and howling winds; Twin Cities metro added to blizzard warning

The National Weather Service has added Carver and Scott counties of the Twin Cities metro area to the blizzard warnings that extend to the South Dakota and Iowa borders:

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
1104 AM CDT Sat Apr 14 2018

…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
portions of west central through south central Minnesota. A
Winter Storm Warning remains in effect to the east of the
Blizzard Warning, including most of east central Minnesota, a
portion of south central Minnesota, and all 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. In addition, up to a tenth
of an inch of ice accumulation is possible in southeastern
Minnesota into southwestern Wisconsin.

MNZ068-069-076-077-084-085-093-150015-
/O.UPG.KMPX.WS.W.0008.000000T0000Z-180416T0000Z/
/O.EXB.KMPX.BZ.W.0002.000000T0000Z-180415T1200Z/
Carver-Scott-Le Sueur-Rice-Waseca-Steele-Freeborn-
Including the cities of Chaska, Shakopee, Le Sueur, Faribault,
Waseca, Owatonna, and Albert Lea
1104 AM CDT Sat Apr 14 2018

…BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM CDT SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Blizzard conditions. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph will
cause whiteout conditions in blowing snow. Significant drifting
of the snow is likely. Additional snow accumulations of 8 to 12
inches are expected.

* WHERE…Portions of east central and south central 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.

The remainder of the metro area and western Wisconsin are in a winter storm warning today through Sunday afternoon:

MNZ049>053-059>063-070-078-WIZ014>016-023>028-150015-
/O.CON.KMPX.WS.W.0008.000000T0000Z-180416T0000Z/
Stearns-Benton-Sherburne-Isanti-Chisago-Wright-Hennepin-Anoka-
Ramsey-Washington-Dakota-Goodhue-Polk-Barron-Rusk-St. Croix-
Pierce-Dunn-Pepin-Chippewa-Eau Claire-
Including the cities of St Cloud, Foley, Elk River, Cambridge,
Center City, Monticello, Minneapolis, Blaine, St Paul,
Stillwater, Hastings, Red Wing, Osceola, Rice Lake, Ladysmith,
Hudson, River Falls, Prescott, Menomonie, Durand, Chippewa Falls,
and Eau Claire
1104 AM CDT Sat Apr 14 2018

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Heavy mixed precipitation. Additional snow accumulations
of 8 to 12 inches, with localized amounts up to 15 inches are
expected.

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

* WHEN…Until 7 PM CDT Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel will be very difficult to
impossible. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph will cause areas
of blowing and drifting snow.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet
and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible. 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.

_____________________________________________________________________

1245 p.m. Update:

The entire Twin Cities metro area and west-central Wisconsin have been added to the blizzard warning:

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 until 1 a.m. Sunday in west-central Minnesota:

MNZ047-048-054>058-064>067-073>075-082-083-091-092-150015-
/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
1104 AM CDT Sat Apr 14 2018

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

* WHAT…Blizzard conditions. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph will
cause whiteout conditions in blowing snow. Significant drifting
of the snow is likely. Additional snow accumulations of 6 to 10
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 southwestern Minnesota:

MNZ047-048-054>058-064>067-073>075-082-083-091-092-150015-
/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
1104 AM CDT Sat Apr 14 2018

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

* WHAT…Blizzard conditions. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph will
cause whiteout conditions in blowing snow. Significant drifting
of the snow is likely. Additional snow accumulations of 6 to 10
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.

Here’s the definition of a blizzard:

Additional snow

An additional foot of snow is possible from this afternoon through Sunday from southwestern Minnesota through parts of the Twin Cities metro area and western Wisconsin:

The heaviest snow in the metro area is expected to be this afternoon and tonight.

We’ll see lighter snow amounts on Sunday, but winds will still be gusty.

A slow low

The low pressure system that’s bringing us heavy snow and howling winds will move very slowly.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential snow pattern this afternoon through Sunday evening:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of snow.

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.

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.