Winter Storm Warning Issued, Schools Dismissing Early

Winter Storm Warning Issued, Schools Dismissing Early Click to Enlarge Photo: National Weather Service

(KNSI) - The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for a large chunk of Minnesota, including the St. Cloud area.

The warning goes into effect at 10:00 a.m. Friday and remains in effect until 6:00 p.m. Saturday.

Forecasters say on Friday, moderate to heavy snow will lift northward across the region, with southeast wind gusts of 25 to 35 mph. There is a lull Friday night, and then on Saturday, northwest wind gusts of 35 to 45 mph develop with widespread blowing and drifting snow. If you’re traveling, blizzard conditions are possible across western and southern Minnesota. If you have travel plans, forecasters say you may want to think again as road conditions are expected to be terrible, and visibility will be severely reduced.

Before heading out, check out the Minnesota Department of Transportation road condition information website. You can do that by clicking here.

Snowfall amounts have gone down slightly, and settled around 5-9”. St. Cloud and the surrounding areas are in line to get between 7 and 9”, with most of it falling between Friday afternoon and Friday night.

The impending storm has also caused some schools to call out early Friday.

Sauk Rapids-Rice, St. Cloud Area School District 742 and Sartell-St. Stephen have all said they will dismiss two hours early. School officials say KIDSTOP and the Boys and Girls Club will stay open until 4 p.m. Pre-School, after school activities and all evening classes are canceled, including Community Education, Adult Basic Education Early Childhood Education, and McKinley ALC classes. For Saturday, all activities, practices, classes, and events are also canceled.

Benton Stearns Voyagers and New Frontiers Schools are also dismissing early Friday, and Willmar Public Schools are closed Friday. This list will continue to grow, and you can keep an eye on all the closings, cancellations, and delays by clicking here.

As for the timing of everything, snow should begin in central Minnesota around noon Friday, with snowfall rates between and inch and an inch and a half an hour. We will see a break in the flakes for a while Friday night before the wind kicks up and starts blowing it all around.

Xcel Energy says they also have extra crews on standby in the event of high winds knocking down power lines and causing power outages.

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