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The Tex-Mex blizzard: Snirty snow, hundreds of power lines down

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Just when I thought I'd seen everything Minnesota weather can deliver.

Our latest Minnesota April blizzard is producing Texas-sized impacts. We saw the usual heavy snow, sleet, wind, thunder and lightning. But many Minnesotans also woke to a layer of brownish-yellow dust covering our usually pristine white snow.

The dust injection blew into Minnesota from west Texas and northern Mexico. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites tracked the dust plume, some of which traveled as far as 1,000 miles.

A closer look at the source region for the massive dust plume shows it going airborne from parts of west Texas, New Mexico and northern Mexico.

Widespread power line damage in southern Minnesota

High winds in excess of 50 and 60 mph have been recorded across Minnesota Thursday. A wind gust of 66 mph blasted St. Paul Downtown Airport at 8:52 a.m.

The combination of heavy wet snow and ice probably stuck to power lines in southern Minnesota. The severe thunderstorm-level wind gusts snapped hundreds of power poles across several southern Minnesota counties.

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Power poles down in southern Minnesota. Image via Minnesota Department of Homeland Security.

The damage to power lines in the electric grid is widespread. Thousands are without power. Road crews have been pulled from some county roads.

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Snowfall reports

Heavy wet snow is piling up across Minnesota. So far, most locations around the Twin Cities have picked up between 5 and 10 inches of snow. Snowfall reports are still coming in by the hour.

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Twin Cities NWS.

Warnings continue

The storm rages on into Friday.

Blizzard and winter storm warnings continue into Friday morning.

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The heaviest snow zones will focus on western and northern Minnesota. Another 5 to more than 10 inches will fall across much of western, central and northern Minnesota through Friday.

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NOAA HRRR model additional snowfall via pivotal weather.

The Twin Cities has received most of the snowfall that will occur with the storm. Expect another 1 to 3 inches of sleety snow through midday Friday with the higher end of that range favoring the north metro.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration High-Resolution Rapid Refresh model shows the storm progression into Friday.

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NOAA HRRR model through 6 am Friday via tropical tidbits.

The melt

We begin another gradual melt process this weekend. Temperatures push into the 50s and toward 60 degrees by next weekend.

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NOAA via Weather Bell.

Stay tuned.