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Ice storm warning issued for parts of west central Minn., snow expected this afternoon

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An ice storm is moving across the South Dakota border this morning toward west central Minnesota.

An ice storm warning has been issued for Yellow Medicine and Lac Qui Parle counties in west central Minnesota, according to the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. Rain is moving into these counties where temperatures are in the middle 20s.

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Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing all day, with freezing rain expected until precipitation changes to snow this afternoon. Ice accumulations of 0.2 to 0.3 of an inch are expected.

Travel conditions will be treacherous.

Power outages due to this storm are also possible, with the weight of the ice possibly bringing down trees and power lines.

Once the storm transitions to snow this afternoon, an additional 1 to 3 inches will be possible on top of the ice.

A winter weather advisory remains in effect north and west of a line from Montevideo to St. Cloud and Balsam Lake. This remains in effect until 6 p.m. for west central Minnesota. This advisory is based on the likely development of heavy snow this afternoon and evening.

Precipitation is quickly spreading northward across Minnesota this morning. Temperatures across the state have risen above freezing for much of the advisory area. As a result, rain will be the dominate precipitation type through noon today.

This afternoon will bring the transition to snow occurring across much of western and central Minnesota. The snowfall amount will be dependent upon how quickly this transition occurs. Snowfall of 2 to 4 inches is expected northwest of a Granite Falls to Mora line. If an earlier snow transition occurs, then 6 or more inches of snow is possible, most likely northwest of a Morris to Mille Lac Lake line.

All drivers are encouraged to be prepared for slippery roads and use caution while driving.

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