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Albert Lea area in blizzard warning

Published 5:21pm Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The blizzard watch has been upgraded to a blizzard warning.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Freeborn, Faribault, Steele and Waseca counties and for much of southern and western Minnesota. The warning extends from Albert Lea to the Red River Valley and includes the eastern parts of the Dakotas. The warning includes cities such as Worthington, Fargo, Fergus Falls, Mankato, Owatonna, St. Cloud, Willmar, Marshall, Hutchinson, Roseau, Aberdeen, S.D., and Devil’s Lake, N.D.

The blizzard warning is in effect for Thursday and Thursday night.

“Confidence is high that winds of 35 to 40 mph with gusts in excess of 50 mph will cause significant blowing and drifting snow and whiteout conditions,” according to National Weather Service meteorologists at the Chanhassen bureau.

An Arctic cold front will move across Minnesota Thursday morning. Traveling conditions will be extremely difficult.

Several counties in eastern Minnesota are in a winter weather advisory. It includes Austin, Twin Cities, Red Wing, Rochester, Little Falls and Cambridge. These areas are forecast to have reduced visibilities due to blowing snow. Places farther east and into Wisconsin and Iowa can expect blowing snow, too. Winnebago and Worth counties are in a high wind warning for Thursday.