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Blizzard warning continues for today in west central Minn.

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WILLMAR –– Several schools in west central Minnesota, including the Willmar School District, are closing early today because of expected blizzard conditions that are expected to sweep across the area early this afternoon.

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A number of churches are also cancelling Wednesday night activities.

Much of the region is under a blizzard warning, which takes effect at 11 a.m. and will last into the early morning hours on Thursday.

A wind chill advisory has been in effect all morning with wind chills in the 25-35 below zero range.

According to the National Weather Service, very strong winds will develop today and continue tonight as colder air moves across the area.

Northwest winds of 25-35 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph, are expected to begin early this afternoon.

Travel could become very difficult.

The blowing snow will reduce visibility to ¼ mile or less with whiteout conditions expected at times.

Snow drifts may exceed three feet in open areas, according to the weather service.

The blizzard warning takes affect later this afternoon in the southern part of the state.

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