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A view out of a Minnesota Department of Transportation snowplow about 8 a.m. Sunday along U.S. Highway 12 west of Penncock. Tribune photo by Carolyn Lange.

Update 11:30 a.m.: A winter storm has arrived in west central Minn., blizzard warning issued for Sunday night and Monday

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A winter storm has started this morning across west central Minnesota. This storm is expected to become a blizzard across western Minnesota tonight and continue into Monday.

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A winter storm warning has been issued and remains in effect through Sunday evening. A blizzard warning is in effect for west central Minnesota through the Minnesota River Valley from 9 p.m. tonight through 6 p.m. Monday.

This significant storm has now started to impact the upper Mississippi Valley. Snow started falling in Willmar about 8 a.m. today.

Heavy snow is expected to continue through this evening in west central and central Minnesota. The temperature high will be around 33. Winds will be breezy, with a north northest wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Snow accumulation today in west central Minnesota today will be 4 to 8 inches.

Total snow accumulations will range from 7 to 12 inches in west central and central Minnesota. Higher amounts of a foot are possible near the South Dakota border.

Blizzard conditions are forecast to develop this evening and persist Monday near the Minnesota River Valley, with winds strengthening to around 30 mph, with expected wind gusts as high as 45 mph.

The heavy snow across west central Minnesota will cause poor driving conditions today. The strong winds will lead to considerable blowing and drifting snow, resulting in white-out conditions in some areas tonight through Monday.

Travel will likely become very difficult or impossible through Monday.

The forecast is for very dangerous travel conditions. Travel only in an emergency. If you must travel, be prepared with an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

For southern and eastern Minnesota, a period of heavy precipitation is expected today. The precipitation will taper off late this afternoon before another area of moderate to heavy snow develops along a line from Albert Lead to Red Wing this evening.

A winter storm warning is in effect from today into Sunday along a line and north of a line from New Ulm through the Twin Cities metro region.

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Kelly Boldan
Kelly Boldan has been the editor of the West Central Tribune of Willmar, since joining the newspaper in October 2001. He has previously worked as the editor at the Bemidji Pioneer, also part of Forum Communications Co., and other daily newspapers, online Web sites, and weekly agriculture newspapers in Wisconsin, Texas and Minnesota. You can follow via Twitter at @KellyBoldanWCT or read about the Tribune's newsroom blog at: insidescoop.areavoices.com or the Tribune's blog at: westcentraltribune.areavoices.com.
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