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A blast of winter weather sweeps across northern Kandiyohi County Tuesday morning, closing many schools and creating difficult driving conditions. Photo by Carolyn Lange

Storm warning continues until noon; travel difficult in western Minn.

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WILLMAR - The winter storm warning remains in effect until noon today in west central Minnesota, including Willmar and the cities of Glenwood, Madison, Benson, Montevideo and Granite Falls in the region.

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Snow will begin to taper off through the morning, according to the National Weather Service, but accumulating snowfall is in the forecast the rest of the day.

In addition, strong northwest winds will cause considerable blowing and drifting of the new snow. Reduced visibilities are expected in the region.

In west central and central Minnesota, an intense band of snow developed overnight, the Weather Service says. Snowfall amounts of 8 to 12 inches have been reported from Redwood Falls through Olivia and Willmar.

Driving conditions in the region are described as difficult or even hazardous by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Packed snow, slippery conditions and reduced visibility are reported.

Fair road conditions - light snow and some drifting - are reported on some western highways including in Swift, Lac qui Parle, Pope and Big Stone counties.

Drivers should use caution and pack winter survival gear.

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