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NWS: Watch for blizzard-like conditions

Published 10:22am Monday, March 18, 2013

That 1 to 3 inches of snow the Austin area will get today could prove disastrous this afternoon.

The National Weather Service called for blizzard-like conditions Monday for much of the western portion of southern Minnesota, including Freeborn County. Residents out and about, especially traveling west, are advised to take caution as the wind will pick up this afternoon and blow much of that new-fallen snow around.

“The snow that’s falling here this morning is going to blow quite a bit this afternoon,” said Todd Shea, NWS meteorologist. “As you head west across Southern Minnesota, conditions are going to get worse and worse.”

MnDOT reported difficult driving conditions on Austin area roads as of 6:30 a.m.

Though Mower County is not under a blizzard warning as of this morning, Shea said residents should take care traveling, as the weather won’t “magically change between county lines.”

“The conditions for a whiteout will increase as you travel west,” he said.

The increasing winds, with gusts up to 37 mph, will likely create drifting, though the snow should taper off by noon.

Though residents could see snow on Tuesday, meteorologists estimate less than an inch of snow to hit the area. Much of Minnesota will be under a cold spell for the rest of the week, with lower-than-average temperatures stretching through the weekend and highs in the upper 10s and lower 20s. That’s a big difference from the 70- to 80-degree temperatures residents felt last year.

“Our normal high should be in the 40s this time of year,” Shea said.

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