Weather Service issues blizzard warning ahead of storm

Published 9:01 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2022

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The National Weather Service has issued winter storm and blizzard warnings for Albert Lea ahead of the winter storm that is expected to move into the area Wednesday.

The winter storm warning is in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to noon on Thursday, and the blizzard warning is in effect from noon Thursday to 6 a.m. Saturday. On top of those two warnings, a wind chill watch is in effect from Thursday evening through Saturday morning.

The weather agency states between 5 and 8 inches of fluffy snow accumulation are expected through Wednesday night.

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Strong northwest winds gusting as high as 50 mph with dangerously cold air will surge in Thursday afternoon through Friday night, bringing whiteout conditions and making travel difficult or impossible. Travel should be restricted to emergencies only, and if people must travel they should have a winter survival kit with them. If people get stranded, they should stay with their vehicle.

Image courtesy National Weather Service

The agency advises people to adjust travel plans for late this week and states the storm could be life-threatening if you are stranded with wind chills in the 30 below to 45 below zero range. The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

In addition to difficult travel conditions, gusty winds could bring down tree branches.