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Transportation Officials Reporting Difficult Traveling Conditions

Sunday’s snowstorm causing travel headaches throughout the Twin Cities, including Mendota Heights.

Sunday’s snowstorm is causing traffic headaches throughout the Twin Cities.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s 511mn.org website, all major highways throughout the Twin Cities—including highway 52 and 55—are experiencing difficult driving conditions.

Traffic cameras on Highway 52 south show snow-covered roads and little traffic.

The slick roads are leading to crashes.

Shortly after noon Sunday, the Minnesota State Patrol said that 301 crashes were reported statewide since 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Injuries were reported in 32 of those crashes.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WARNING

Here is the most recent forecast warning from the National Weather Service:

...FORECAST SNOW AMOUNTS HAVE INCREASED AS MAJOR WINTER STORM CONTINUES...

...BLIZZARD CONDITIONS EXPECTED ACROSS WESTERN MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING...

.A BLIZZARD WARNING HAS NOW TAKEN EFFECT FOR MUCH OF WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON DUE TO THE COMBINATION OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH...WITH GUSTS NEAR 45 MPH. A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT TODAY FOR EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN FOR HEAVY SNOWFALL. FAR SOUTHERN MINNESOTA REMAINS UNDER A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY TODAY FOR LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOWFALL. 

A POWERFUL WINTER STORM WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY. SNOW WILL CONTINUE THIS AFTERNOON AND BECOME HEAVY. BEHIND THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM...SUSTAINED NORTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH ARE EXPECTED OVER WESTERN MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON BEFORE GRADUALLY TAPERING OFF THIS EVENING. SOME WIND GUSTS MAY EXCEED 40 TO 45 MPH. CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WILL RESULT IN WHITEOUT CONDITIONS MAKING TRAVEL NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE BY THIS AFTERNOON.

AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW ARE ALSO EXPECTED FARTHER EAST...BUT LIGHTER WINDS PRECLUDE THE ISSUANCE OF A BLIZZARD WARNING AT THIS TIME.

FINALLY...TEMPERATURES WILL PLUMMET BEHIND THE SYSTEM TO WELL BELOW ZERO LATE TONIGHT OVER WESTERN MINNESOTA WITH WIND CHILL READINGS AS LOW AS 20 TO 30 BELOW. TRAVEL IN THE BLIZZARD AND WINTER STORM WARNING AREAS IS NOT ADVISED. TRAVEL WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT AND STRANDED MOTORISTS RISK GETTING FROSTBITE OR HYPOTHERMIA DUE TO THE FRIGID WIND CHILL LATE THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT.

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CST TONIGHT...

* TIMING...SNOW...HEAVY AT TIMES...WILL DEVELOP TODAY. THE HEAVY  SNOW WILL TAPER OFF THIS EVENING WITH A FEW SNOW SHOWERS   EXPECTED THEREAFTER. THE WIND WILL THEN INCREASE FROM THE  NORTHWEST WITH DRIFTING SNOW LINGERING THIS EVENING. 

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...8 TO 15 INCHES WITH THE HEAVIEST AMOUNTS IN MINNESOTA.

* OTHER IMPACTS...AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW WILL DEVELOP LATE THIS  AFTERNOON OVER CENTRAL AND EASTERN MINNESOTA AS NORTHWEST  WINDS INCREASE TO 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH. 

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... 

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING.

SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

Planning to take photos of the snowfall this weekend? Submit your shots to Mendota Heights Patch by adding them to our community gallery.

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