Update: NWS issues blizzard warning for region

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dave Joseph, part-owner of Crossroad Motor Company, clears snow from one of the vehicles on his lot after a brief system swept through Tuesday morning and dumped 2 to 3 inches. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The chances for a white Christmas are improving, but there will likely be a few white knuckles for area drivers first.

Mower County residents need to prepare for another round of snow and wind Wednesday and Thursday, as the National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for much of southern Minnesota, northern Iowa and southern Wisconsin.

NWS meteorologists are calling for 5 to 7 inches of snow in the Austin area starting at 6 p.m. today, but Meteorologist Zack Taylor said most of the snow will come to town after midnight.

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Though Austin won’t get as much snow as Iowa and Wisconsin, drivers need to watch out Thursday for high winds creating dangerous road conditions, including whiteouts and blizzard-like conditions. Winds up to 40 mph could create as much as 14 inches of snow in some areas, according to a NWS statement.

“The impacts will still be significant,” Taylor said.

Temperatures could get up to 22 degrees Thursday, before dropping to 7 degrees Thursday night. Early Christmas travelers can expect calmer weather conditions Friday, with sunny weather and a high of 16 degrees.

Much of the county already saw about two inches of somewhat unexpected snow Tuesday, after forecasts had called for less than an inch of accumulation.