Travel conditions ‘difficult;’ Austin, Pacelli, Hayfield, GM, BP, LO, Southland schools closedPublished 9:54pm Wednesday, December 19, 2012
A winter storm has closed most area schools, and road conditions are expected to worsen as high winds pick up this morning.
Austin, Pacelli, Hayfield-Brownsdale, Grand Meadow, LeRoy-Ostrander, Southland and Blooming Prairie public schools will all be closed Thursday.
A winter storm has already dumped 3 to 7 inches of snow in southeast Minnesota, and many roads were packed with snow early Thursday, with drifting on rural roads. The Minnesota Department of Transportation lists driving conditions across southern Minnesota as difficult. The Iowa Department of Transportation is advising no travel across the entire state, and there are multiple closures or blockages in the southern Iowa.
Still, the worst of the storm is likely on the way, as winds are expected to increase to 25 to 30 mph, with gusts of 45 mph creating whiteout conditions, according to the National Weather Service.
Mower County is under a blizzard warning until 6 p.m. The weather service is warning against travel and states the conditions could become life-threatening.
About 5 to 10 inches of snow are expected in southeast Minnesota, and 10 to 14 are expected in Iowa and Wisconsin. The heaviest snow is expected to fall by noon.