Major Storm whipping up blizzard conditions

Published 8:29 am Friday, December 28, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS — Forecasters posted a blizzard warning for parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota as a major winter storm delivered heavy snow and gusty winds to the region Thursday.

The powerful storm is making travel difficult with motorists on the move during this holiday week. The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for central South Dakota, eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. The storm was expected to drop more than a foot of snow in the region before ending Friday.

The Minnesota State Patrol tweeted that road conditions are poor across much of western Minnesota. Transportation officials said road conditions across much of the central and northern areas of the state are completely covered with ice and snow, with windy conditions causing even more travel issues. The Minnesota Department of Transportation said it might be better to wait for conditions to improve if travel isn’t necessary.

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The weather service said 10 inches of snow had fallen by Thursday morning near Silver Bay on Minnesota’s north shore.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol issued a travel alert for all state highways due to whiteout conditions. Eastern North Dakota is expected to deal with winds gusting up to 50 mph, creating blizzard conditions mainly in the Red River Valley.

University campuses, courthouses and municipal buildings across the state are among the places closed on Thursday, including the University of North Dakota campus in Grand Forks.