WILLMAR — Snow started falling across south central Minnesota in the later evening hours of Tuesday, and by the time it stopped Wednesday morning, it had left the area looking like a winter wonderland on the day before Thanksgiving.
As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, towns were reporting several inches of snow on the ground, according to the National Weather Service's snowfall report. Willmar had the largest reported total in the region at 7 inches, with Granite Falls just behind it with 6.5 inches.
Grove City and Darwin both had 6 inches, while areas near Bird Island reported just under 5 inches. Watson's reported total came in at 4 inches, with Redwood Falls coming in just under 4 inches. Olivia reported only 3 inches. A local weather observer in Benson measured 2.25 inches.
Most of the state roadways were still snow-, ice- and slush-covered, either mostly or partially by noon on Wednesday, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation's 511mn.org website. Roads had been treated, but high winds continued to cause blowing snow.
Winds between 15 to 20 mph were expected to continue through Wednesday, with gusts reaching around 30 mph.
The forecast for Thanksgiving in Willmar is highs in the upper 20s and low winds. There is a slight chance of snow after about 3 p.m., the weather service forecast said.
The weekend forecast is showing significant chances of not only more snow, but freezing drizzle and rain as well. Winds will also pick up.