Howling winds today, with blowing and drifting snow

The accumulating snow is pretty much over in the Twin Cities, now the window-rattling winds will re-distribute it.

Blowing and drifting snow will severely reduce visibilities across most of Minnesota and Wisconsin today.  Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota will see some additional snow.

Big picture

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern today and this evening:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Sunday morning through Sunday evening, via tropicaltidbits

Additional accumulations will be highest in Wisconsin:

NWS Duluth

Additional warnings

Blizzard warnings continue across much of Minnesota today, including the southern portion of the Twin Cities metro area:

NWS Twin Cities

Keep in mind that you don’t need a lot of falling snow to prompt a blizzard warning; here’s the NOAA blizzard warning definition:

                                                Blizzard Warning
A Blizzard Warning means that the following conditions are occurring or expected within the next 12 to 18 hours.
1) Snow and/or blowing snow reducing visibility to 1/4 mile or less for 3 hours or longer
AND
2) Sustained winds of 35 mph or greater or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater.
There is no temperature requirement that must be met to achieve blizzard conditions.

There’s plenty of snow on the ground all across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Some of that snow cover will be picked up by the fierce winds today.

Here’s the winter storm discussion, followed by the blizzard warning details:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
625 AM CST Sun Feb 24 2019

…DANGEROUS WINTER STORM CONTINUES TODAY AS WINDS INCREASE WITH
WIDESPREAD BLOWING SNOW…

.A Blizzard Warning will continue through Sunday afternoon for
most locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin along and south of I-
94. This includes southern portions of the Twin Cities metro,
away from more suburban areas, as well as Ladysmith, Chippewa
Falls, and Eau Claire Wisconsin. A Winter Storm Warning is in
effect through Sunday afternoon from the core of the Twin Cities
metro northward along I-35 including Polk and Barron counties. A
Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the counties north of
I-94 and west of I-35.

Snow will end across Wisconsin this morning but winds will
increase after sunrise. Wind gusts near 50 mph are expected,
which will result in widespread whiteout conditions in the
Blizzard Warning area. Travel will be very dangerous or
impossible as roads become drifted shut. Road closures have been
reported. DO NOT TRAVEL.

MNZ067-069-070-074>076-WIZ023-242030-
/O.CON.KMPX.BZ.W.0003.000000T0000Z-190225T0000Z/
Sibley-Scott-Dakota-Brown-Nicollet-Le Sueur-St. Croix-
Including the cities of Gaylord, Shakopee, Hastings, New Ulm,
St Peter, Le Sueur, and Hudson
625 AM CST Sun Feb 24 2019

…BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM CST THIS
EVENING…

* WHAT…Blizzard conditions expected. Winds gusting as high as
50 mph.

* WHERE…Portions of central, east central and south central
Minnesota.

* WHEN…Until 6 PM CST Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel will be very difficult with some
roads becoming impassable. Areas of blowing snow could
significantly reduce visibility. Gusty winds could bring down
tree branches.

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 winter storm warning details for Minneapolis, St. Paul and the north metro:

MNZ053-060>063-WIZ014-242030-
/O.CON.KMPX.WS.W.0007.000000T0000Z-190225T0000Z/
Chisago-Hennepin-Anoka-Ramsey-Washington-Polk-
Including the cities of Center City, Minneapolis, Blaine,
St Paul, Stillwater, and Osceola
625 AM CST Sun Feb 24 2019

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM CST THIS
EVENING…

* WHAT…Blowing snow expected with winds gusting as high as 45
mph.

* WHERE…In Wisconsin, Polk County. In Minnesota, Washington
County.

* WHEN…Until 6 PM CST Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions.
Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility.
Gusty winds could bring down tree branches.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Storm Warning for blowing snow means severe winter
weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible.
If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in
your vehicle in case of an emergency.

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.

As always, updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you’ll also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

You can check the latest forecasts from the NWS offices in the Twin CitiesGrand Forks, N.D., Sioux Falls, S.D., La Crosse, Wis. and Duluth.

Updated road conditions will be posted by the Minnesota and Wisconsin transportation departments.

You can check snow accumulations as they are posted by the National Weather Service. Hover over a location on the National Weather Service snow map site to see the snow total and the time of observation.

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.