Updated 2 p.m.
That wild spring snowstorm has pushed its way into southern Minnesota, causing havoc already on the region’s roads.
There are so many crashes on Interstate 35 in southern Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has shut down the highway entirely from Medford to Faribault.
Snow is moving in and troopers are out w/crashes and vehicles off the road. The main problem area? Interstate 35 from Medford to Faribault with more than 10 vehicle crashes and three semi crashes. Check https://t.co/AOQI2lO7cB for the latest road conditions and lane closures. pic.twitter.com/XVdOXX7Idu
— MN State Patrol (@MnDPS_MSP) April 10, 2019
The agency is also advising no travel on southwestern Minnesota state highways in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and Pipestone counties, saying some roads are completely snow covered with heavy snow and reduced visibility creating hazardous driving conditions.
From earlier Wednesday
• The forecast track has shifted a bit north from what models were indicating on Tuesday.
• Heavy snow will spread slowly from southwestern Minnesota to the Arrowhead.
• Blizzard conditions will cause travel to become nearly impossible mainly in west central Minnesota beginning Wednesday night.
• A wintry mix with much lesser amounts of snow will fall on south central and southeastern Minnesota.
Traveling? Here is the large scale look at the potent storm that will impact the region through Friday. Shown are forecast snow totals through Friday. See https://t.co/wNdcp9qV3x for the forecast for your location. Dangerous to impossible travel conditions are expected #ndwx pic.twitter.com/9Q5CIUEDqO
— NWS Bismarck (@NWSBismarck) April 10, 2019
• The latest: Weather updates
Precipitation will likely reach the Twin Cities by early Wednesday afternoon. Expect a variety of wintry mix from then through Thursday, then snow Thursday night and Friday.
Mixed precipitation has been falling on a broad area of southern Minnesota this Wednesday morning. Several weather stations in the southwest corner have been reporting thunderstorms.
Heavy, wet snow will spread slowly northeast from southwestern Minnesota to the Arrowhead.
Winds will increase and cause widespread blowing and drifting beginning Wednesday night, especially in west central Minnesota where a blizzard warning will go into effect Wednesday evening and continue into Friday.
Travel conditions are likely to become nearly impossible in the blizzard area as heavy snowfall will be accompanied by wind gusts of 40 to 50-plus mph in open areas.
Winter storm warnings will be going into effect for less-severe winter conditions of snow and blowing snow from New Ulm to Buffalo, Brainerd and most of northern Minnesota.
Duluth harbor area threatened again
Powerful northeast winds across Lake Superior are forecast to drive huge waves into the Duluth harbor on Thursday. Shoreline flooding and damage are expected.
LAKE SUPERIOR’S FURY: Powerful winds and huge waves will develop over western Lake Superior by Thursday afternoon because of a powerful spring storm system headed towards the Great Lakes. #mnwx #wiwx pic.twitter.com/m3ca18kqfP
— NWS Duluth (@NWSduluth) April 10, 2019
Shoreline flooding and damage are likely in the Duluth Harbor area on Thursday.
Large waves may create havoc again near the western tip of Lake Superior. This time the waves will contain chunks of ice which will exacerbate beach erosion and damage. Be careful around the lake, and watch for lofted ice. #mnwx #wiwx #LakeSuperior pic.twitter.com/oZis8rEXsJ
— NWS Duluth (@NWSduluth) April 10, 2019
Twin Cities region
The Twin Cities area will be right on the edge of white versus wet weather on Wednesday and Thursday. Expect periods of rain, sleet and snow or a combination through that period.
Precipitation should be in the form of wet snow from Thursday night into Friday.
A greater amount of rain or sleet would decrease the snowfall total. Either way, they ground is warm so some snow will melt either due to the rain or the warmth of the ground.
Metro snowfalls could be around 3 to 6 inches with greater amounts just to the northwest side, but that is a rather low-confidence forecast due to the expected variability of precipitation type.
— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) April 10, 2019
Milder temperatures will get snowmelt underway this weekend.