UPDATE: Thursday 4:38pm
Thursday 12:41pm - A Message from MNDot Concerning Travel
MnDOT urges motorists to plan ahead for approaching major winter storm
ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s snowplow fleet and drivers are prepared for the forecasted snow storm and windy conditions Thursday and Friday, and they ask motorists to do their part to be ready as well.
In the 11-county region in southeast Minnesota, 101 MnDOT snowplows will be on the road Thursday afternoon, working around the clock through the forecasted snow that’s anticipated to arrive Thursday night and continue falling through Friday.
The National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wis., is predicting rain on Thursday afternoon that will transition to a wintry mix or snow overnight. Heavy snow and strong winds are expected to affect travel by reducing visibility and creating difficult and/or hazardous driving conditions. The weather service indicates snowfall amounts could reach up to 14 inches or more in southern Minnesota along and north of the I-90 corridor. Southeast Minnesota counties are under a mix of warnings: blizzard and winter storm, with far southeast Minnesota under a winter storm watch.
MnDOT advises motorists to monitor the latest weather conditions and prepare to adjust travel plans if necessary. Road conditions, weather warnings, snowplow and traffic cameras are all available at www.511mn.org. Motorists should check 511 for road conditions and consider changing their travel plans Thursday night and Friday. If travel is necessary, motorists should use slower speeds on all types of roads, travel with their headlights on and turn off their cruise control.
When driving near snowplows, motorists should be patient and remember that snowplows are working to improve road conditions. Motorists should stay back 10 car lengths behind the plow. “Minnesota winter storms can throw some challenges at us, but our snowplow operators will be out steadily working to clear the roads for safer travel,” said Don Nosbisch, maintenance superintendent in MnDOT District 6 West. “Motorists help us greatly when they stay back 10 car lengths, slow down and use their headlights.”
For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to www.mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html.
For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.
Thursday 12:16pm -...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 AM CST SATURDAY...
The National Weather Service in La Crosse has issued a Blizzard Warning, which is in effect from midnight tonight to 6 AM CST Saturday. The Winter Storm Warning is no longer in effect.
* Expect a wintry mix to develop this evening, transitioning to all snow overnight. This snow will become heavy after midnight.
* Total snow accumulations tonight through Friday night in the 10 to 16 inch range. Snow rates up to 2 inches an hour at times also possible in thundersnow.
* Significant blowing and drifting with some whiteouts also likely, especially in open and unsheltered areas.
* Travel will likely become dangerous.
With tomorrow's snow storm slowly approaching the area, we will keep you up to date with the latest information available concerning the storm.
Thursday 11am - National Weather Service in La Crosse has issued a Winter Storm Warning from Midnight tonight to 6am on Saturday
- Wintry mix develops by midnight, transitioning to snow for Friday and Friday night.
- Total snow accumulations of 8 to 14 inches.
- Snow rates up to 2 inches an hour at times
- Possible thundersnow and lightning
- Blowing and drifting snow expected Friday through Friday night
- Travel will be very difficult to impossible during morning and evening commutes on Friday.