Blizzard Conditions with Upper Midwest Snowstorm
December 09, 2012; 6:20 AM
Making the situation worse for travelers, blizzard conditions are accompanying the snowstorm invading the Upper Midwest today.
Snow will continue to spread eastward across the Upper Midwest into tonight, leaving the Dakotas in the process.
The heaviest snow, totaling 6 to 12 inches, will blanket central Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., and Eau Claire, Wis., lie in the heart of this zone.
Drivers are urged to use caution as the snow is creating slick and treacherous travel throughout the Upper Midwest, including on Interstates 29, 35, 75, 90 and 94.
Along the southern end of the snow zone -- south of I-90 in Minnesota and toward Madison, Wis., and Grand Rapids, Mich. -- the majority of the snow will fall on grassy surfaces with roads becoming slushy.
However, an invasion of bitterly cold air tonight will cause these slushy spots on roads and sidewalks to turn icy.
It is not just falling snow creating hazards for motorists, but also blizzard conditions as biting winds significantly whip the snow around. Visibility will become dramatically reduced as snow drifts form.
Such conditions have unfolded across eastern South Dakota and neighboring southeastern North Dakota, and will develop in a west-to-east fashion across western Minnesota as the day progresses.
Eastern Minnesota, home to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and western Wisconsin will be subject to the blowing and drifting snow tonight.
The howling winds will also continue to drive arctic air across the Rockies and Plains today, setting the stage for a second zone of snow to dive southward into New Mexico (including Albuquerque) and West Texas.
Temperatures will plunge 10 to 20 degrees below Saturday's highs from North Dakota to northern Arizona, New Mexico and the Texas panhandle today.
The blustery winds will create even colder AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures.
The cold air will spread across more of the southern Plains and Midwest on Monday as the snowstorm reaches Quebec and severe weather threatens some communities in the South.