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High winds expected to whip up snow and reduce visibility today in west central Minn.

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WILLMAR - An early spring storm that dumped 6-12 inches of snow on west central Minnesota isn't done causing havoc.

The National Weather Service said stiff north winds will be the issue for the rest of the day.

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Snow will diminish by this afternoon but sustained winds of 15-20 mph will whip up the fresh snow causing drifting and limited visibility said Rick Hiltbrand, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

"Wind is going to be the biggest problem from this point forward," said Hiltbrand.

North winds could gust to 35 mph.

Many communities across central minnesota reported from 6 to 10 inches of snow overnight. There will be another 2 to 3 inches of snow today before ending this evening.

Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog said his deputies have responded to about 15 weather-related accidents so far today.

"We're dealing with a lot of cars in the ditch," said Hartog. "But there's been no serious wrecks."

The worst conditions appear to be in the northern part of Kandiyohi County.

Because area schools, including Ridgewater College, were closed today that helped reduce the number of vehicles on the road and reduced the number of potential accidents, he said.

Many churches have canceled their Wednesday Lenten services and a number of community events have also been canceled or postponed today because of the weather.

Plows are continuing to clear roads but Hartog said the rain on Tuesday, topped with today's high-moisture snow, has "made a real mess of the roads."

The Minnesota Department of Transportation said roads in southwestern Minnesota are in extremely hazardous driving conditions because of compacted snow on roads and blowing and drifting snow.

The winter-like weather isn't going to end soon. Hiltbrand said cold weather will move in with single-digit temperatures tomorrow.

"The sun should be back but it's going to be cold," he said.

When it comes to inching our way forward to spring this year, Hiltbrand said it's been "one step forward and six steps back."

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Carolyn Lange
A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
(320) 894-9750
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