OLIVIA — While Wednesday morning started well, with sun and highs in the low 30s, by Wednesday afternoon it will be a very different story.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday for Renville, Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Swift and Redwood counties. Winds gusts are expected to reach at least 40 mph which could cause significant blowing snow, whiteout conditions and flash freezing of roadways and surfaces.
There is a good chance of some snow Wednesday of less than an inch total. However, with the high winds, that could be enough to cause very dangerous conditions.
The blizzard warning is set to expire at 6 p.m. Wednesday, though winds will remain high until around midnight. Winds are expected to drop to around 10 to 15 mph early Thursday morning.
The high winds will also cause dangerous wind chills to form. Temperatures will drop throughout Wednesday with wind chill values of 25 to 30 degrees below zero forcasted by Wednesday afternoon and even lower into the evening and overnight.
A wind chill warning has been issued for most of west central and southwestern Minnesota, including all of the counties in the blizzard warning as well as Kandiyohi County. The warning goes into effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday. Thursday's high is only 3 below zero.
The weather service is asking for drivers to travel only in emergencies. If one must drive, they should have a winter survival kit in the vehicle. Also, outdoor activities should be avoided, as frostbit can occur within minutes with temperatures this cold.
The weather rebounds quick. Friday's high is forcasted to be 21, though winds will be high around 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Saturday should be mostly cloudy with a high near 30 degrees and Sunday's forecast is sunny and a high of 27.