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Traffic travels westbound Monday on U.S. Highway 212 near the intersection with state Highway 23 near Granite Falls. Travel conditions are difficult in the region due to blowing and drifting snow. (Tribune photo by Susan Lunneborg)

Schools closed today in winter blast

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West Central Tribune
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Schools closed today in winter blast
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

More than 20 west-central Minnesota schools have cancelled classes today as a blustery storm moves across the region.

The area is under a winter-weather advisory and wind-chill advisory.

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More nasty weather could be in store for tomorrow, with additional snow, wind and cold temperatures in the forecast.

The area could receive 2 to 4½ inches of snow before today is over, said Matt Friedlein, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

Stiff winds that will keep the new snow suspended, and biting temperatures that will plunge the wind-chill to 40 below by Tuesday morning, will reduce visibility in rural areas and make travel dangerous, he said.

"I would think schools would be slow to go tomorrow morning," said Friedlein.

Some schools in the western part of the state, like Benson, Lac qui Parle and Montevideo, never even attempted to hold classes today.

Others, like New London-Spicer, Brooten-Belgrade-Elrosa and Willmar, brought students to school but are set to close before noon, according to KWLM radio.

At least 23 K-12 grade schools have closed today, and the technical schools in Canby and Granite Falls are closed. Several school sports activities are cancelled and many community activities are postponed or cancelled for today according to KWLM's "Operation Snowdesk."

Friedlein said snow could taper off around noon today in Kandiyohi County but will resume, leaving as much as 4½ inches of new snow in some areas. The big shock could come around 5 p.m. when the temperatures will drop.

Temperatures will "crash well below zero tonight," said Friedlein, and could stay there for much of the week. It could be Friday before temperatures rise above zero.

Exposure of skin in some conditions can be very dangerous, he said, and "traveling won't be fun," especially in rural areas. "This is really a winter," he said.

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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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