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Blizzard hits; schools cancel classes

Published 6:37am Monday, March 18, 2013

Blizzard conditions struck Albert Lea overnight, causing treacherous travel conditions this morning and schools to cancel classes.

A blizzard warning is in effect for much of the region, according to the National Weather Service. The warning is set to expire at 10 p.m. today.

Albert Lea, St. Theodore Catholic, Hollandale Christian, Alden-Conger, Lake Mills, Glenville-Emmons and New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale Geneva schools have canceled classes today. United Preschool is closed.

Heavy snow and high winds are expected this afternoon, according to a weather service forecast for Albert Lea. A south wind of 15 to 20 mph will become a west wind of 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Snow accumulation is expected to be 1 to 3 additional inches. The high today is to be 29 degrees.

Less than an inch fell overnight. Winds overnight hit 22 mph with gusts up to 30.

The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as having considerable falling or blowing snow with winds 35 mph or greater. Visibility often is less than a quarter mile.

Wednesday is the first day of spring.