WILLMAR -- Well, the balmy weather last week was nice while it lasted.
Winter reasserted itself Sunday with a major winter storm that brought heavy snow and white-out conditions to a large swath of central and southwestern Minnesota.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning that remains in effect until noon today for counties in west central Minnesota, including Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Pope, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine.
A winter storm warning also is in effect until noon across the rest of central and southern Minnesota, from Worthington to the Twin Cities.
Snow plows were at work Sunday morning and afternoon, clearing city streets and highways. Driving conditions began to deteriorate late in the afternoon as the storm expanded.
"Not good" was how a Chippewa County law enforcement dispatcher described roads in the Montevideo area. In some spots, blowing snow created white-out conditions, she said.
Kandiyohi County pulled its plows off county roads late Sunday afternoon.
Local law enforcement was advising no travel Sunday evening. The Minnesota Department of Transportation said driving conditions were difficult across the entire southern third of the state, with heavy snow, blowing and drifting snow and poor visibility.
The National Weather Service said 11 inches of snow had fallen by Sunday night in Willmar.