Remember all of those concerns about a “brown” Christmas? They’re about to get blown away. Quite literally.
The National Weather Service in Chanhassen has issued a Blizzard Warning for the Wright County area as the first true winter storm of the season hits the Twin Cities on Wednesday, Dec. 23.
Fortunately, with things locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel was expected to be lighter than normal. Now, with the onset of this storm, those that haven’t put their plans in action prior to Wednesday evening are going to be pretty much stuck, the NWS states.
Here’s a look at the Blizzard Warning:
HIGHLY IMPACTFUL SYSTEM TO BRING A LIST OF HAZARDS TODAY AND TONIGHT… .A significant change in the weather is coming this afternoon.
A Blizzard Warning is in effect today and tonight west of a line from Mille Lacs Lake to Waseca, including the western Twin Cities metro.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect this afternoon and tonight along I-35 from Faribault County north to Chisago and Kanabec counties east to Barron County, including the remainder of the Twin Cities metro.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from this afternoon until tonight for Dunn and Pepin counties east to Eau Claire and Ladysmith.
Snow will develop this morning across western Minnesota, with light rain or drizzle farther east. Temperatures will start in the 30s but will plummet during the day following a cold front, falling below zero overnight. This will turn the rain to heavy snow very quickly early this afternoon across eastern Minnesota. Wet conditions, heavy snow, and temperatures falling into the teens will likely result in flash freeze with dangerous travel conditions through tonight. Snow will continue into this evening area wide, then taper off after midnight. Total accumulation will range from 5 to locally 9 inches across east central Minnesota, 3 to 6 inches across western Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.
Strong northwest winds of 35 to 40 mph will develop behind the 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 whiteout conditions are expected. Travel will become very dangerous today and tonight. Wind chills dropping to 20 below to 35 below zero will be especially dangerous to those that may become stranded.