Mother Nature is letting her cranky side show this week as a major late-season winter storm impacts the region.

Mother Nature is letting her cranky side show this week as a major late-season winter storm impacts the region. As early as Monday, the National Weather Service was warning that this system could be “potentially historic” in nature.

Precipitation in the form of rain or a rain/snow mix began falling across the area in the overnight hours of Tuesday into Wednesday morning. The precipitation was expected to change over to all snow Wednesday afternoon and into Wednesday evening.

On Tuesday, the NWS issued a blizzard warning for much of west and west central Minnesota, including the Montevideo area, which has pretty much remained in the bullseye since the NWS began forecasting the storm.

The blizzard warning went into effect last evening (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. as winds across the warned area were expected to increase. Wind gusts are expected to top 50+ mph, causing widespread blowing and drifting snow along with whiteout conditions. The warning will be in effect until 7 a.m. tomorrow (Friday) morning.

Heavy snow has been forecast throughout the region, with totals expected to be in the 12” to 24” range across Chippewa, Yellow Medicine, Lac qui Parle, Renville, and Redwood counties.

Higher amounts are expected for Lincoln and Lyon counties, which could see up to 24” to 30” of snow before the system leaves the region.

Snowfall amounts are dependent on the track of this powerful winter storm. According to the NWS, minor variations in the storm track could significantly alter precipitation amounts and total snow accumulation.

Schools across the area are closed today, and no travel is advised through tomorrow (Friday).

A state-wide tornado drill which had been scheduled for today as part of Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week, has been cancelled due to the storm.

Skies are expected to clear on Saturday, as temperatures rebound into the upper 30s for the weekend to near 50 degrees by the end of next week.

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