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Storm update: Blizzard whiteout; no travel advised in Red River Valley

Jan 15, 2020 06:38PM ● By Editor
A spin out in Oakdale on Friday as a major winter storm dumps several inches of snow across Minnesota.   Photo:  Courtesy of Minnesota Department of Transportation

By Paul Huttner of Minnesota Public Radio News - January 17, 2020

Our latest major winter storm was about an hour late to the party. But it’s making up for lost time.

Blizard conditions are raging in the Red River Valley with near-zero visibility. MnDOT has advised no travel for the Fargo, N.D., -Moorhead, Minn., area due to whiteout conditions.

Here’s the latest briefing from the Grand Forks, N.D., National Weather Service on condition in the Red River Valley area.

Blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings continue into Saturday.

Warnings for Saturday
Warnings for Saturday
Twin Cities National Weather Service

Snow continues overnight

Snowfall continues in much of Minnesota overnight. Snowfall rates of 1 inch per hour materialized in the Twin Cities Friday afternoon. Snowfall intensity will be lighter in the Twin Cities Friday night and should end by around 9 a.m. Saturday. A dry slot to the south of the Twin Cities will ease snowfall coverage there. 

Here are some snowfall totals as of early Friday evening.

  • Roseville: 2.3 inches

  • Burnsville: 2.8 inches

  • Victoria: 3 inches

  • Clearwater, Minn.: 3.9 inches

  • Albert Lea, Minn.: 4.5 inches 

  • Mankato, Minn.: 5 inches

  • Olivia, Minn.: 6 inches

Overall snowfall totals may be highest along the North Shore. But most of Minnesota will be plowing out from a big pile Saturday.

Snowfall projection 2
Snowfall projection by Saturday afternoon
Twin Cities National Weather Service

High winds: Blowing snow

Saturday’s biggest challenge centers on high winds and blowing snow. Gust over 40 mph whip loose snow airborne all day across western Minnesota. Gust over 30 to near 40 mph buffet the Twin Cities Saturday afternoon.

Wind gusts Saturday afternoon
Wind gusts Saturday afternoon

Milder late next week

The upper air pattern suggests a shot of Pacific air late next week. Highs in the 30s look likely. The deep freeze won't last all week.

Temperature forecast for Twin Cities
Temperature forecast for Twin Cities
NOAA via Weather Bell

Stay safe out there.

Stay safe out there Minnesota!To read the original article and follow more storm related reporting, follow this link to the MPR News website.