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Blizzard warning western MN Friday; some metro snow

Computer models continue to bring heavy snow and very strong winds to much of Minnesota on Friday.

Parts of Minnesota will see blizzard conditions late tonight and Friday, making travel dangerous or impossible.

An overview, from the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service:

rt1117msp

Winds gusting over 45 to 55 mph and heavy snow will create whiteout conditions, which could develop shortly after midnight in far western Minnesota.

Warnings

A blizzard warning goes into affect at 3 a.m. Friday for parts of western Minnesota, including Morris and Marshall.

Blizzard warnings begin at 6 a.m. Friday to the east of that area, including Willmar and Redwood Falls.

Here are some details from the Twin Cities NWS office:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN

344 AM CST THU NOV 17 2016

...STRONG WINTER STORM AIMING TOWARD THE UPPER MIDWEST LATE

TONIGHT AND CONTINUING THROUGH FRIDAY...

...BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP FROM WEST TO EAST

ACROSS WESTERN MINNESOTA FRIDAY MORNING - BLIZZARD WARNINGS ARE

NOW IN EFFECT...

.WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE RAPIDLY WITH BLIZZARD

CONDITIONS EXPECTED ACROSS WESTERN MINNESOTA FRIDAY MORNING AS A

LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM TRACKS NORTHEAST ACROSS FAR SOUTHWEST

MINNESOTA INTO WESTERN WISCONSIN. RAIN WILL BEGIN THIS AFTERNOON OR

EVENING ACROSS WESTERN MINNESOTA...BUT IS EXPECTED TO CHANGE TO

SNOW BY EARLY FRIDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES INTO

EARLY AFTERNOON BEFORE TAPERING OFF BY EVENING. SNOW ACCUMULATIONS

OF 6 TO 12 INCHES ARE EXPECTED WEST OF A LINE FROM REDWOOD FALLS

TO ST CLOUD AND LAKE MILLE LACS WITH THE HEAVIEST AMOUNTS OVER

DOUGLAS...TODD...AND MORRISON CONTINUES. AMOUNTS WILL TAPER OFF

QUICKLY TO THE EAST. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE...ANY SLIGHT

DEVIATION IN THE EXPECTED STORM TRACK WILL RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT

SNOWFALL FORECAST CHANGES NEAR THE TIGHT GRADIENT.

WINDS WILL INCREASE SUBSTANTIALLY TONIGHT AND EARLY FRIDAY

MORNING. GUSTS OF 50 TO 60 MPH ARE EXPECTED IN THE BLIZZARD

WARNING AREA. THESE GUSTY WINDS AND HEAVY SNOWFALL AMOUNTS WILL

CONTRIBUTE TO CONSIDERABLE BLOWING SNOW AND WHITEOUT CONDITIONS.

TRAVEL WILL BECOME VERY DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE.

A BLIZZARD WARNING IS IN EFFECT FRIDAY FOR MUCH OF WEST CENTRAL

MINNESOTA...MAINLY WEST OF REDWOOD FALLS TO WILLMAR AND ALEXANDRIA.

A WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR PORTIONS OF CENTRAL

MINNESOTA WHERE WINDS ARE NOT EXPECTED TO BE QUITE AS STRONG...AND

INCLUDES AREAS NEAR ST CLOUD...LITTLE FALLS...AND LONG PRAIRIE. A

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR SOUTH CENTRAL AND EAST

CENTRAL MINNESOTA...INCLUDING THE TWIN CITIES METRO AREA AND

MANKATO.

A winter storm warning for 6-12 inches of snow and blowing/drifting snow covers much of central Minnesota, including St. Cloud and Brainerd on Friday:

rt1117wrn
NWS TWin Cities

You can click on the National Weather Service warning maps at NWS Twin Cities, NWS Duluth, NWS Grand Forks, and NWS Sioux Falls to get specific warning information for your location.

Here are details of the winter weather advisory for the Twin Cities, in effect from noon to 9 p.m. Friday, for 1-2 inches of snow and strong winds:

344 AM CST THU NOV 17 2016

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 9 PM CST

FRIDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW AND STRONG WINDS...WHICH IS IN

EFFECT FROM NOON TO 9 PM CST FRIDAY.

* EXPECT SNOW TO DEVELOP AROUND NOON FRIDAY AND THEN DIMINISH

AROUND 9 PM FRIDAY.

* THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL RATES WILL OCCUR BETWEEN NOON AND 6 PM

FRIDAY.

* TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF AN INCH OR TWO ARE EXPECTED.

* WINDS WILL GUST AS HIGH AS 55 MPH. IF MORE SNOW FALLS THAN IS

CURRENTLY FORECAST...BLOWING SNOW WILL BECOME MORE OF A

CONCERN.

* PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS...INCLUDING DURING THE

EVENING COMMUTE ON FRIDAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF SNOW WILL

CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED

ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN

BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1.

Timing of the snow

The snow and high winds will begin in parts of western and central Minnesota overnight tonight.

By 6 a.m. Friday, the strong low pressure system near the Iowa border will bring very high winds to most of Minnesota. Rain is expected early Friday in the Twin Cities, with heavy snow over much of western, central and northern Minnesota:

rt11176amfri
NOAA GFS model data for 6 a.m. Friday, via tropicaltidbits.com

At noon, the changeover to snow is happening just northwest of the Twin Cities:

rt11176noonfri
NOAA GFS model data for noon Friday, via tropicaltidbits.com

Most of the Twin Cities area should see some snow Friday afternoon.

By 6 p.m. Friday, snow is tapering off in far western Minnesota, but continues over the remainder of Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin:

rt11176pmfri
NOAA GFS model data for 6 p.m. Friday, via tropicaltidbits.com

You can hear updates on this winter storm on the Minnesota Public Radio network, and you can ead about the storm at mprnews.org and the Updraft blog.