Blizzard warning issued for northwestern Minn.

6:26 PM, Mar 11, 2011   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- A fast moving storm will move east from North Dakota Friday into northern Minnesota by Friday evening.

The storm will pull warmer air north along with strong southerly winds into Minnesota Friday. Temperatures will rise into the 40s across southern Minnesota and 30s in the north.

Rain mixed with snow over North Dakota will move into northern Minnesota during the late afternoon and then change to snow Friday evening.

Snow accumulations along a line from Moorhead to Brainerd to Duluth and points north to Canada will see about 1 to 3 inches of snow overnight.

Winds on the backside of the storm will switch to the northwest and gust over 40 mph Friday night in North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota so the National Weather Service has issued a BLIZZARD WARNING from Friday night through Saturday morning for northwestern Minnesota along the North Dakota border including Moorhead, Crookston and Warren.  The BLIZZARD WARNING covers a larger area of North Dakota including Fargo, Jamestown, Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Minot.

The bad weather will move into the Fargo area around 5 or 6 p.m. Snowfall in the BLIZZARD WARNING area will only be about 2 to 4 inches later Friday night but the high winds and falling temperatures will make for dangerous travel conditions especially. People that have to travel I-29 or I-94 in North Dakota should make sure to get the latest weather information and even realize that roads may wind up being closed.

Winds across Minnesota will increase statewide and wind gusts up to 45 mph are possible overnight. The winds will be from the northwest statewide on Saturday and this will bring colder conditions to all areas. Driving in northern Minnesota from Detroit Lakes to Duluth will be difficult Friday evening with falling snow and gusty winds. Scattered rain and snow showers will fall over southern Minnesota this evening but nothing significant is expected with the snowfall although some areas could see 1 inch by Saturday morning.

Temperatures will be below average all across Minnesota this weekend then it will turn warmer on Monday and much warmer Tuesday through Thursday with temperatures pushing into the 50s. The melting snow next week could lead to a start to the Spring snowmelt flooding.

Twin Cities metro area forecast for Friday, March 11, 2011: A mix of clouds and sun Friday with gusty south winds at 10 to 20 mph and highs in the low 40s. Sunset Friday evening is 6:13 p.m. Cloudy with rain and snow showers developing after 9 p.m. then becoming all snow after midnight - any snow accumulations would be less than 1 inch. Winds will be strong tonight from the west-northwest at 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 35 mph at times.

Cloudy, windy and colder with light snow showers Saturday in the metro then some sunshine in the afternoon. The northwest winds at 15 to 25 mph will make it feel more like the upper teens to low 20s buy the actual highs will be around 30 degrees. Decreasing winds Saturday night with partly cloudy skies and lows in the low to mid teens by Sunday morning.

Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday so don't forget to spring ahead one hour before bed Saturday night.

Twin Cities metro area extended forecast Sunday through Tuesday: Partly cloudy with lighter winds on Sunday and highs in the low 30s.

A mix of clouds and sun on Monday with a chance for light rain late Monday evening - highs near 40 degrees.

Scattered rain showers Tuesday morning then partly cloudy, breezy and warmer with highs in the upper 40s.

The average high for the extended period is 39 degrees.

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