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Update 3 p.m.: Driving conditions deteriorating in west central Minnesota

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News Willmar,Minnesota 56201 http://www.wctrib.com/sites/all/themes/wctrib_theme/images/social_default_image.png
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Update 3 p.m.: Driving conditions deteriorating in west central Minnesota
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is recommending that drivers use caution if traveling in southwestern Minnesota today.

Snowplows are out, but heavy snow and reduced visibility are making travel difficult in the Willmar and Hutchinson regions.

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Snow began falling across much of west central Minnesota this morning and is continuing throughout the afternoon. Many schools in the area closed in late morning.

A winter storm warning has been expanded during the day to include the area from Madison to Granite Falls and areas north of a line from Granite Falls to New Ulm and Owatonna.

The winter storm warning is expected to last through the night and into Tuesday morning. The current storm warning expires at 6 a.m.

The Twin Cities is also included in the winter storm warning. The Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to play football outdoors this evening in Minneapolis, their first outdoor home game in 29 years.

Five to 8 inches of snow are expected in the area under a winter storm warning. Wind is expected to be from 15 to 25 mph and will cause blowing and drifting in open areas in southern and central Minnesota.

At their heaviest, snowfall rates are expected to be 1 to 2 inches an hour.

The snow is expected to taper off late tonight.

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