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Blizzard warning issued for Wednesday in west central Minnesota

A blizzard warning has been issued for all of west central Minnesota from mid-morning Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday.

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CHANHASSEN — A blizzard warning was issued for all of west central Minnesota for much of Wednesday and Wednesday night according to the National Weather Service here.

The blizzard warning forecast for eastern South and North Dakota, which begins at 8 a.m. Wednesday, was extended significantly eastward into Minnesota, west of a line from Mille Lacs Lake to Waseca.

This blizzard warning for west central Minnesota is in effect from 10 a.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday. A winter storm warning is in effect Wednesday afternoon and night along I-35 from Faribault County north to Chisago and Kanabec counties.

Light rain in the early morning across west central Minnesota will freeze on the roadways as precipitation transitions to snow by mid-morning. Travel is expected to deteriorate quickly following the transition. Snow will develop early Wednesday morning across the region and will continue throughout the day and into the evening. Total accumulation will range from 3 to 6 inches in western Minnesota.

Temperatures will start in the 30s, but then plummet during the day following the arrival of a cold front. The wet conditions, heavy snow and falling temperatures into the teens will likely result in flash freeze with dangerous travel conditions through Wednesday night.

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Strong northwest winds of 35 to 40 mph will develop behind Wednesday's cold front. Gusts of 60 mph are possible across western Minnesota, with 50 to 55 mph gusts farther east. Considerable blowing and drifting snow and white conditions are expected across the region.

Travel will become very dangerous Wednesday and Wednesday night. Wind chills will drop to 20 below to 35 below and will be dangerous to those that may become stranded.

Travel should be restricted for emergencies only, according to the National Weather Service. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you become stranded, stay with your vehicle.

Kelly Boldan has been editor of West Central Tribune and Wctrib.com in Willmar, Minnesota, since October 2001. He joined Forum Communications Co. in November 1998 as editor of the Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer.
Boldan can be reached via email: editor@wctrib.com or telephone: 320-214-4331.
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