MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Snow, strong winds and plunging temperatures – that’s what many Minnesotans are experiencing the last day of 2018.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for a swath of central Minnesota, stretching from Alexandria in west-central Minnesota to St. Cloud and up along the North Shore.
The warning is slated to remain in effect until 6 p.m. Monday, with the main concern being blowing snow, creating poor visibility and dangerous driving conditions.
As of 7:45 p.m., portions of west-central Minnesota are on a no-travel advisory. The Minnesota Department of Transportation says driving conditions are dangerous in Big Stone, Pope, Stevens and Swift counties — as well as southern parts of Traverse County, south of Highway 27.
Snow totals are expected to be around 4 to 6 inches. While those numbers aren’t too impressive by themselves, the snow will stack up on many communities that were hit with a more than a foot of snow in last week’s snowstorm.
Around noontime Monday, 5 inches of fresh snow had already been reported in Aitkin in central Minnesota and in Schroeder along the North Shore.
Outside of the winter storm warning area, there are several counties under a winter weather advisory. Those areas should expect 1 to 2 inches and wind gusts to 30 mph.
As for the Twin Cities, light snow is expected during the afternoon. The metro is not under the winter weather advisory.
— Matt Brickman (@Matt_Brickman) December 31, 2018
Meanwhile, along the North Dakota border, several communities in western Minnesota are under a blizzard warning until 6 p.m. Monday.
Shortly after 2:30 p.m., a no travel advisory was issued for southwestern Minnesota.
The National Weather Service says snow accumulation will only be a few inches, but powerful winds (up to 45 mph) will create low visibility on roads.
Additionally, the wind chills will drop as low as 35 below zero in western Minnesota through Tuesday morning. Such frigid conditions can cause frostbite in as little as 10 minutes on exposed skin, weather officials say.
The coldest temperatures are expected in northwestern Minnesota, where air temperatures are forecasted to be colder than 20 below zero.
As such, there will be a wind chill advisory for western Minnesota from 6 p.m. Monday to midday Tuesday.
The arctic cold is expected to linger into Wednesday morning, but then temperatures will warm. By the weekend, Minnesotans should expect sun and snow-melting temperatures.