Snowfall finishes, wind gusts reach over 50 mph in areas

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UPDATE: MnDOT closed I-90 west of I-35 Saturday evening as the blizzard conditions rolled into the state. A no travel advisory has been issued south of I-94. 

A Winter Storm Watch was issued for the metro and the I-94 corridor. A Blizzard Warning was issued for all of southern MN and parts of western WI. The south metro counties are still in a Blizzard Warning until Sunday evening. (see map) 

Sunday morning, the metro will see up an additional 1” to 4” with areas in SE MN picking up 8” to 10”+ of new snow.

Sunday also brings in some bitterly cold temperatures, with the metro feeling like -15 degrees in the afternoon and -25 in the evening.

Just southeast of the metro, there will be a swath of 8-12 inches or more from around Albert Lea through Rochester and Red Wing, and over to Eau Claire. I separated the area into 2 different zones because while not everyone will get accumulating snow, everyone will have to deal with the winds and at least some minor to moderate blowing snow.  

West of that yellow line, there will be little if any additional snowfall accumulation, but winds could gust over 50 mph causing white out conditions at times and creating significant drifts over roadways likely leaving many roads impassable. East of that yellow line, additional significant accumulation of snow is possible or likely where it will be the combo of heavy snow and gusty winds that will create blizzard conditions. It’s these kinds of storms that likely close roads and interstates, so I would expect many roads to either be closed or impassible south of I-94 for at least part of the day on Sunday. Winds start to lighten up Sunday evening, but I’m sure MnDOT crews will have a tough time to clear things by the Monday morning commute.

Metro Travel impacts:

Sunday: High impact… The accumulating snow will be over, but significant blowing and drifting, even in the metro, will make travel difficult and problematic.  Expect many 
roads heading south out of the metro to be closed much of the day as blizzard conditions are expected through the afternoon

Monday AM: High impact… The combination of some leftover blown snow and very cold temperatures will likely leave many roads slippery until the sun can work on it

Monday PM: Moderate impact… This remains questionable as we wait to see how quickly MNDOT crews and the power of the late Feb sun can treat and melt the roads