Blizzard warning in effect as wind, snow pick up in Minnesota, western Wisconsin

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Winter storm and blizzard warnings are in place for many parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin as wind and snow create difficult travel conditions.

A winter storm warning was previously issued for much of the state until Saturday morning, however, a Blizzard Warning has now been extended to cover the entire Twin Cities metro area, as well as parts of western Wisconsin. The warning went into effect Friday at 9 p.m. and is in effect until 7 a.m. Saturday for many counties in Minnesota.

Meanwhile, the warning goes into effect starting at 11 p.m. for Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin and Pierce Counties. CLICK HERE for a full list of winter storm warnings.

The snow is expected to stop early Saturday morning. Heavy snow accumulation of roughly 6-10 inches are possible for parts of the region.

While Hennepin and Ramsey Counties will see rain and some rumbles of thunder for Friday but change to snow during the evening hours, wind gusts as high as 40 mph may sweep the Twin Cities by Friday afternoon. Chief Meteorologist Ken Barlow says this will create low visibility with blowing snow and hazardous driving conditions.

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) says drivers should be prepared for difficult conditions in the southwest and south-central part of the state late Friday and during the overnight hours into Saturday. In addition, the agency says travel advisories or road closures could be issued Friday.

The Minnesota State Patrol reports there were 177 crashes from 4:30-9:30 p.m. Friday. Of those crashes, 24 resulted in injuries. Additionally, 155 vehicles spun out or left the road, and five semis jackknifed.

At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, a total of 110 incoming and outgoing flights were canceled as of 10 p.m. Friday, and another 157 were delayed, according to the airport’s website.

For a complete look at the radar, visit KSTP’s interactive radar page. You can also find tips to prepare for winter weather by CLICKING HERE.

Dozens of school districts announced late openings or cancellations for Friday, and others opted to close early. CLICK HERE for a full list of school start time changes.

People in the South and Midwest should also be prepared for the possibility of dangerous storms and tornados, according to the Associated Press. The AP predicted tornados, large hail, and power outages for parts of the region.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS’ weather page offers hour-by-hour weather and updates on the storm.

Viewers are encouraged to submit photos or videos of the weather they take through KSTP’s website.