UPDATE: Winter storm warning in effect for multiple counties, 6 to 10 inches of snow expected in Twin Cities | KSTP.com

UPDATE: Winter storm warning in effect for multiple counties, 6 to 10 inches of snow expected in Twin Cities

Updated: November 26, 2019 10:25 PM


Minnesotans can expect heavy snowfall Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. 

As of 9 p.m., a winter storm warning is in effect for a number of Minnesota counties, including Anoka, Chisago, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington. A warning issued earlier in the evening for Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Dakota, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Le Sueur, Martin, McLeod, Nicollet, Rice, Scott, Sibley, Steele, Waseca and Wantonwan counties remains in effect. 

Another winter storm warning for the central portion of the state and western Wisconsin will go into effect at 9 p.m.

All the storm warnings are expected to remain in place until noon Wednesday. 

The heavy snowfall overnight will result in 7 to 9 inches of snow for most of the metro area, but some cities could see up to 10 to 12 inches by early afternoon on Wednesday.

Because of the snow, the University of Minnesota and other metro schools canceled class Wednesday. A number of cities have also issued snow emergencies

As of 6:30 p.m., the Minnesota Department of Transportation reported roads in southwest Minnesota were completely covered with snow.

KSTP meteorologists say a snowstorm could make Thanksgiving travel a mess in southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin and other parts of the Upper Midwest.

A winter storm warning goes into effect Tuesday at 9 p.m.

Snow is expected to begin falling Tuesday afternoon south of Interstate 94, followed by strong winds on Wednesday.

The heavy snowfall overnight will result in 7 to 9 inches of snow for most of the metro area, but some cities could see up to 10 to 12 inches by early afternoon on Wednesday.

According to KSTP meteorologist Sam Ryan, a second storm system is approaching the west coast that is expected to move across the country. As it moves across the western states, there will be a rapid strengthening of the storm system. When the storm arrives into Minnesota, it is expected to bring along warmer temperatures which should lead to rain and with freezing drizzle mixed in on Saturday.

The initial storm system is expected to include significant wind gusts of 35 to 40 miles per hour late Tuesday into early Wednesday morning. Sam Ryan says to be aware of the potential for blowing snow which will reduce visibility. The heaviest snow is likely to fall tomorrow morning from 6 a.m. through 9 a.m.

Although MnDOT will have their hands full clearing the roads for the morning commute, travel could start to get easier around 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. when the snow slows down. 

KSTP Meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas also reported of 8 inches expected in Mankato and 3 inches in St. Cloud on Wednesday morning. There will also be possible thunder during the storm. 

The National Weather Service reports Wednesday morning “is not looking great for travel.” Minneapolis-St. Paul could see its biggest November snowfall since 2010.

The NWS reports northwestern Wisconsin could be hit by 8-12 inches or more of snow. Travel in northwestern Wisconsin “is going to be chaotic,” NWS meteorologist Brent Hewett said.

Meteorologists say another winter storm could develop after Thanksgiving into the weekend. But they say it’s too soon to tell whether that system will bring rain, snow or a mix.

Minnesota Department of Transportation officials and other state leaders are expected to give an update Tuesday at 11 a.m. on what traveling ahead of the holiday could look like.

Meanwhile, MnDOT crews have already been working to prepare roads and interstates.

"We have our crews right now making sure the equipment is prepped and ready to go, materials are ready, and we are just watching the forecast to see when that storm event is going to arrive so our crews can be out and managing the snow and ice," Jed Falgren, of MnDOT, said.

Currently, 800 snowplows have been designated to handle the snowstorm throughout Minnesota, with 240 of them handling the metro area.

Those planning to drive in the midst of the storm are reminded to slow down on the roads and to give other drivers, as well as snowplows, extra space.

Those planning to fly should also prepare for delays. The storm headed toward the Midwest is also already sweeping across several other states.

Hundreds of flights have been canceled ahead of the holiday.

Officials with the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport say the airport will be full staffed and as soon as snow starts falling, plows will be ready to hit the runways.

Still, airport officials said travelers should prepare for delays and cancelations. 

Several airlines—including DeltaSouthwestSun County and American—are offering travel vouchers for MSP Airport travelers.

Airport officials said they have been planning ahead, adding more staff and preparing for the snowstorm to come.

"We keep the airport open, it's an issue whether we keep the runway open," John Welbes, MSP Airport spokesman, said. "A lot of that will have to depend on the rate of snowfall and how the storm develops. If most of the snow is overnight Tuesday, that would be a good scenario for us, because then the plows can work through the night and keep up with it, and there's a lot of variables with the weather and if it comes down while the plane is trying to get out, that can get touchy."

Meanwhile, Xcel Energy said it's gearing up for the storm with additional crews in case of power outages.

If you experience an outage, you can report it online, on the Xcel mobile app, by texting "OUT" to 98936 or by calling 1-800-895-1999 and following the prompts.

Xcel also urged customers to stay away from any downed power lines, keep natural gas meters clear, ensure heating safety by being extra cautious (especially if using space heaters) and by having a home emergency kit prepared in case of an outage. A standard kit should include items such as:

  • Battery-powered radio or TV
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Bottled water and nonperishable food
  • First aid kit

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com for the latest updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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