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No travel advised Monday morning in parts of west central Minn.

WILLMAR -- Several counties north and west of Willmar are in a no travel advisory, and snow is in the forecast across the region today. The Minnesota Department of Transportation on Monday morning enacted a no travel advisory on state and federal...

Erica Dischino / TribuneA city of Willmar snowplow drives west on the 300 block of Trott Avenue Southwest in Willmar, clearing the roads during the snowstorm Monday afternoon. The late-winter storm brought everything from freezing rain to snow throughout Monday, and blustery winds added to difficult travel conditions across much of Minnesota.
Tribune file photo

 

WILLMAR - Several counties north and west of Willmar are in a no travel advisory, and snow is in the forecast across the region today.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation on Monday morning enacted a no travel advisory on state and federal highways in Big Stone, Clay, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin counties due to dangerous driving conditions:

MnDOT said in a news release that high winds and blowing snow are causing whiteout conditions. Snowplows will continue to operate, but motorists are advised not to travel until conditions improve.

Lac qui Parle County public safety officials had issued a no travel advisory Sunday evening for all county roads until 8 a.m. Monday. Conditions on roadways were said to be extremely slippery and dispatch received numerous reports of vehicles in the ditch. County plows were pulled off the roads for the night, and plowing, sanding and salting roadways was to begin again Monday morning.

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MN 511 as of Monday morning shows roads in west central Minnesota are completely covered, ranging from snow to snow and slush to warnings of black ice.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning through 6 p.m. Monday generally northwest of a line from Benson through St. Cloud to Mora. A winter weather advisory remains in effect for a few counties just south of this line, including Willmar and the surrounding area.

Later tonight a wind chill advisory will go into effect for western Minnesota.

The weather service said in its statement that people who plan to travel should have warm clothing along and should tell someone else where they are going and when they will arrive.

The main concern in the winter storm warning area - which includes Stevens, Pope, Stearns and Swift counties in this region - is 3 to 5 additional inches of snow, followed by north wind gusts near 35 mph. This will lead to low visibility and poor driving conditions, especially in open areas, the weather service said.

Areas in the winter weather advisory area - which includes Lac qui Parle, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Yellow Medicine, Renville and Redwood counties - will have less snow. The forecast is 2 to 4 inches of snow, blowing snow, and very cold wind chills with winds gusting as high as 35 mph. Wind chills as low as 35 below zero expected.

The weather service says plan on slippery road conditions and patchy blowing snow. The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin.

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