Snow and dangerous wind chills are in store for west central Minnesota this weekend.
A winter storm warning is in effect from 9 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Sunday for much of central and south central Minnesota, according to the National Weather Service. The storm warning covers an area along and east of a line from Redwood Falls to Willmar to Sauk Centre to Onamia.
A winter weather advisory is in effect for west central Minnesota west of a line from Granite Falls to Little Falls.
Heavy snow is expected to develop across west central Minnesota this evening and expand eastward tonight into early Saturday. In addition to the snow, south central Minnesota is expected to have freezing rain and sleet this evening.
Snowfall in the area of the winter storm warning is expected to be from 6 to 12 inches, with the highest amounts expected east of Hutchinson and in to the Twin Cities and eastern Wisconsin. In most of west central and south central Minnesota, snow totals are expected to be 3 to 6 inches.
The Weather Service expects winds to come up and temperatures to drop during the day on Saturday. Sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph are expected, with gusts to 40 mph. That will result in near-blizzard conditions with blowing and drifting snow and wind chills below zero.
The snow is expected to taper off Saturday afternoon and evening, but dangerous wind chill of 20 below to 35 below are expected.
A low in the single digits is predicted for tonight, and a low in the teens below zero Saturday night.
Wind chills are predicted to be 8 below to 18 below during the day Saturday. By Saturday night, the wind chills are expected to dip as low as 35 below.
The Weather Service recommends that people use caution in traveling during the storm, and carry water, food, warm clothing and flashlights in vehicles.