Blizzard warning, increased snow totals issued for Southern Minnesota

Southern Minnesota was initially left out of a winter storm warning issued for much of the state by the National Weather Service, but that changed overnight.

A blizzard warning has now extended to Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Nicollet, Martin, Waseca, Sibley, and Watonwan counties.  The warning goes into effect at noon Wednesday and expires at 6 a.m. Christmas Eve.

The latest predictions show increasing snow totals, as well.  Mankato’s forecast initially called for around 2 to 4 inches of snow as the system traveled through the state.  But weather forecasters now put the predicted totals at 4 to 6 inches for the area, with slightly lower amounts to the south.

Rain is expected to start in the Mankato area prior to 11 a.m., with a snow/rain combo to fall for a couple of hours in the early afternoon, followed by heavy afternoon snow.

Blizzard conditions will be caused by strong, northwest winds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts of up to 50 mph expected. Wind chills are expected to drop to near 10 below zero by evening.

Strong winds, and sub-zero wind chills will continue through Christmas Eve, but on Christmas day, the sun should return, with temperatures reaching around 24 degrees.

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