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Update: Snow to continue through today; winds to pick up tonight 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: Snow to continue through today; winds to pick up tonight in west central Minnesota
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Update 10 a.m.

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WILLMAR - Roads are in difficult driving condition today in west central Minnesota with 6-8 inches of new snow blowing and drifting in open areas.

State Highway 15 is closed at the junction with McLeod County Road 26 near Brownton due to an accident, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

State and county crews are out clearing roads this morning, but many area schools have canceled classes today.

Meanwhile the area remains under a winter storm warning until 6 a.m. Tuesday. The warning area is generally south and west of a line from Appleton to Willmar to Litchfield to Owatonna. Snowfall totals in this area are expected to reach 6 to 8 inches, with isolated total approaching 10 inches.

A winter weather advisory is in effect through Monday night for the remainder of west central Minnesota into east central Minnesota. The advisory area is generally surrounding the Interstate 94 corridor from Alexandria through the Twin Cities to Eau Claire. Snowfall totals of 3 to 6 inches are likely before the snow gradually diminishes Monday night.

This weather event will be a long duration snow event with accumulating snow continuing this morning and then become lighter this afternoon. Expect the snow to taper off Monday night. In addition to the snow, the wind will increase out of the northeast Monday night and cause blowing and drifting snow across west central Minnesota through south central Minnesota.

Snowfall so far is ranging from more than 6 inches reported in Montevideo to 3 inches in Redwood Falls.

Matt Friedlein, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, said Kandiyohi County could get another 2-3 inches of snow today and another ½ inch tonight.

Friedlein said winds will gradually increase today and continue through Tuesday as part of a massive weather system that's affecting the Great Plains states. "It'll drive the winds across the entire Midwest," he said.

Winds will hold steady at 15 mph with gusts of 20-25 mph Tuesday. Combined with air temperatures that will be 15 below zero, the wind chill Tuesday night could read 30-35 below zero, said Friedlein.

Although the snow will likely end tonight, "The wintry type weather will last through Wednesday morning."

There will be a warm-up on Friday and Saturday, but Friedlein said, "There's still a lot of cold air in Canada" that could make the first week of February quite cold.

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