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Updated: Albert Lea under blizzard warning

The National Weather Service’s blizzard warning has expanded into Albert Lea.

Motorists are advised to stay off the roads if possible, especially in southern Minnesota. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph will cause whiteout conditions in blowing snow, and significant drifting of snow is likely.

This National Weather Service graphic shows forecasts Albert Lea to receive 10 inches of snow. Provided

According to the National Weather Service, several rounds of heavy snow will continue through this afternoon into this evening. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour can be expected through the afternoon hours, and the snow will taper down Saturday night.

The blizzard warning remains in effect through this evening. Total snow accumulations of 8 to 15 inches are expected through Sunday from southwest Minnesota to east central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin. Totals were taper off to 4 to 8 inches across west central Minnesota.

Small hail began to fall in Albert Lea shortly before 8:30 a.m., followed by snow.

The blizzard warning remains in effect through 1 a.m. Sunday.